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6 US Cities Amazon Should Consider for its Second HQ

6 US Cities Amazon Should Consider for its Second HQ

by Sascha Segan PC Magazine

Amazon has gotten too big for Seattle. Now it’s looking to build a second headquarters somewhere in North America, and it’s taking suggestions.

This morning, Amazon started soliciting offers from metropolitan areas to host a new campus for up to 50,000 employees. This “HQ2” would become a co-equal headquarters to Amazon’s giant Seattle setup, the company says. The headquarters must be no more than 30 miles from a major population center and no more than 45 minutes from an international airport.

The prize here will be big, with tens of thousands of jobs and over $5 billion in investment. Expect cities and states to start falling all over each other with tax incentives and land deals. Bids are due by Oct. 19, and Amazon will make its decision next year.

Amazon has demands. Here’s what it wants:

  • Metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people
  • A stable and business-friendly environment
  • Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
  • Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

I think Amazon probably wants to get away from the West Coast, which would count out options like San Diego, Boise, Phoenix, and Denver. The expensive, crowded main metro areas of the Northeast Corridor also seem to me to be unlikely winners, because Amazon can get much more for its money elsewhere.

These are my top six suggestions, in order, of where Amazon might land in the US:


1. Kansas City

Kansas City

Possibly the nation’s most underrated tech hub, Kansas City was one of the first Google Fiber markets and is home to Sprint. The city has terrific internet connectivity, it has been nurturing tech startups in the Crossroads neighborhood, land is affordable, the airport has nonstop flights to all the right places, and the local government has a very pro-tech stance. Kansas City’s primary downside is its lack of international flights. “Kansas City International Airport” holds its title because of flights to Toronto and Cancun, which isn’t the globe-spanning range Amazon wants.


2. Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the fourth-largest metro area in the US, with more than 6 million people. It has its own tech titan in Samsung, and it’s just down the road from Austin, a vibrant tech hub. It’s centrally located and has one of the nation’s major airports.

The Fort Worth side of the Metroplex is going through some major changes right now, with the city redeveloping downtown with a riverwalk, lakes, canals, and apartment buildings—turning the former city of stockyards into a real urban center. There’s a major new entertainment district planned for 2024, and frequent commuter rail connects the city to central Dallas.

Dallas is a bit more expensive, and a bit further along in terms of development. It’s positively buzzing as an urban hub, with world-class dining and nightlife, a growing public transit system, and a diverse population. That would be an easy move for Amazon.

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Massive Equifax Data Breach Could Impact Half of the U.S. Population

Massive Equifax Data Breach Could Impact Half of the U.S. Population

NBC News – by 

A massive cyber security incident at Equifax — one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States — may have exposed private information belonging to 143 million people — nearly half of the U.S. population.

The breach, which was discovered July 29, includes sensitive information such as social security numbers, birthdays, addresses and in some instances, driver’s license numbers. The agency said 209,000 credit card numbers were exposed in the breach, which includes customers in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Adding to the scandal, three of the company’s top executives sold Equifax shares just days after the breach was discovered. The breach was not publicly disclosed until Thursday, more than six weeks later.John Gamble, chief financial officer; Jospeh Loughran, president of U.S. information security and Rodolfo Ploder, president of workforce solutions solutions sold shares days after the company was aware of the breach, according to SEC filings. Bloomberg, which first reported this, estimated the total value of shares sold to be $1.8 million.

The FBI is actively investigating the cyber incident and Equifax has been cooperating, law enforcement sources told NBC News. Equifax did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment regarding the stock sales.

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Check your eclipse glasses

 

Family looking at Solar Eclipse using solar glasses

Eclipse refunds. Amazon will issue refunds to consumers who bought eclipse-viewing glasses through third-party sellers that couldn’t verify that their products were compliant with safety standards.

The FTC has warned that consumers should look for eclipse viewing glasses stamped with ISO 12312-2, which means they have met international safety standards.

The total eclipse will cross 14 U.S. States on Aug. 21, and special glasses are needed to view the solar phenomenon safely and prevent eye damage.

The online retailer continues to sell glasses from suppliers that provided the proper documentation, while undocumented products were removed from the site, The Wall Street Journal reported. Consumers who bought potentially unsafe glasses were notified they would be receiving a refund.

Adobe pulls the plug on Flash: What that means for your computer

KMBC Channel 9 Kansas City —

It’s the end of an era in the tech world.

Adobe announced Tuesday that their Flash software, which has powered much of the media content found online since it’s launch in 1996, will be phased out. The tech company says it will stop updating and distributing Flash Player by the end of 2020.

Here’s what that means for you:

Sites that use Flash will begin asking your permission to run the program. That will continue until the end of 2020.

The phasing out timeline will be consistent will Adobe’s tech partners including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Adobe will remain committed to industries that use Flash Player through 2020.

Regular security checks will be maintained.

Starting in 2019, Windows will begin disabling Flash by default in its Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers.

The use of Flash has declined drastically in recent years. According to Google, just three years ago 80 percent of Chrome internet users visited a site with Flash every day. Today, the numbers stand at just 17 percent.

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How to transfer everything from your old Android phone to your new one

From PC WORLD : No one wants to spend forever moving all their stuff to a new phone. Here’s a quick and painless guide to get you up and running fast.

Moving to a new phone can be a pain. Android might have the edge over iOS when it comes to tight integration with cloud services, but Google still has a ways to go when it comes to effortlessly transferring all your data off your old phone and onto the new one.

But it has gotten better. You’ll need to rely heavily on Google’s services, of course, but with Android Nougat, moving your personal info has never been easier. It’ll still take a some vigilance and a little work, but you don’t need to be an Android whiz anymore to ensure your data is ready to move the next time a catastrophe hits your phone—or you just really want a new one.

Before you can do anything, you’ll need to make sure your old phone is signed in to your Google account. It almost certainly is, but head over to the Google tab in Settings to make sure.

Then, you’ll need to find your phone’s backup settings. On Pixel and Nexus devices there’s a Backup & reset option under the Personal tab in Settings, but the location varies on other phones. The easiest way to find it is to type “backup” into the settings search bar.

android backup settings IDG
On Pixel and Nexus phones, you can back up mostly everything to your Google Drive.

Once you’re there, you’ll see a couple options. On Pixel and Nexus phones, there’s a Back up to Google Drive switch that will enable several types of content to be backed up, including installed apps and accompanying data, call history, device settings, calendar entries, contacts, photos and videos, and, exclusive to Pixel phones, SMS messages. It’ll be backed up automatically overnight, so once you switch it on, you won’t have to give it another thought.

On other phones, you’ll see a Back up my data toggle. Turning it blue will ensure that your application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and various phone settings are sent to Google servers and at the ready when you sign in to a new phone. This way you won’t have to re-enter passwords to networks you’ve already saved. Yes, that means Google probably has all the world’s Wi-Fi passwords. But that’s a story for another day.

google drive backups IDG
Your Google Drive is the gatekeeper for all your backups.

You’ll also see a second toggle called Automatic restore. Turning that one on will restore the data and settings if you decide to reinstall a previously deleted app.

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B&B Theaters Hit in 2-Year Credit Card Breach – Grain Valley / Lee’s Summit

From KrebsOnSecurity Website

B&B Theaters Hit in 2-Year Credit Card Breach – Grain Valley / Lee’s Summit

B&B Theatres, a company that owns and operates the 7th-largest theater chain in America, says it is investigating a breach of its credit card systems. The acknowledgment comes just days after KrebsOnSecurity reached out to the company for comment on reports from financial industry sources who said they suspected the cinema chain has been leaking customer credit card data to cyber thieves for the past two years.

Headquartered in Gladstone, Missouri, B&B Theatres operates approximately 400 screens across 50 locations in seven states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

In a written statement forwarded by B&B spokesman Paul Farnsworth, the company said B&B Theatres was made aware of a potential breach by a local banking partner in one of its communities.

“Upon being notified we immediately engaged Trustwave, a third party security firm recommended to B&B by partners at major credit card brands, to work with our internal I.T. resources to contain the breach and mitigate any further potential penetration,” the statement reads. “While some malware was identified on B&B systems that dated back to 2015, the investigation completed by Trustwave did not conclude that customer data was at risk on all B&B systems for the entirety of the breach.”

The statement continued:

“Trustwave’s investigation has since shown the breach to be contained to the satisfaction of our processing partners as well as the major credit card brands. B&B Theatres values the security of our customer’s data and will continue to implement the latest available technologies to keep our networks & systems secure into the future.”

In June, sources at two separate U.S.-based financial institutions reached out to KrebsOnSecurity about alerts they’d received privately from the credit card associations regarding lists of card numbers that were thought to have been compromised in a recent breach.

The credit card companies generally do not tell financial institutions in these alerts which merchants got breached, leaving banks and credit unions to work backwards on their own from those lists of compromised cards back to a so-called “common point-of-purchase” (CPP).

In addition to lists of potentially compromised card numbers, the card associations usually include a “window of exposure” — their best estimate of how long the breach lasted. Two financial industry sources said initial reports from the credit card companies said the window of exposure at B&B Theatres was between Sept. 1, 2015 and April 7, 2017.

However, a more recent update to this advisory shared by my sources shows that the window of exposure is currently estimated between April 2015 and April 2017, meaning cyber thieves have likely been siphoning credit and debit card data from B&B Theatres customers for nearly two years undisturbed.

Article Continued HERE

 

The 10 best Android apps for Chromebooks

From PC World.com

These apps are often better than the web-based versions you’d find via Chrome OS.

Credit: Stephen Sauer/IDG

Running Android apps on Chromebooks is still a dream—a dream in extended beta, that is. After promising the feature earlier this year, Google has pushed out the release date.

While a select number of Chromebooks can access Google Play right out of the box, more adventurous Chromebook users will need to run the developer beta of Chrome OS to experience Android apps. After spending time with a number of Android apps that have become Chrome-friendly, I actually prefer some Android versions on Chrome over the web-based versions, as mobile apps can be refreshingly simple and uncluttered.

To get into the beta channel, go to your Chromebook’s Settings page and click About Chrome OS. Next, click Detailed build information, then click Change Channel. There, you can switch from the stable channel to the beta channel. You should steer clear of the developer channel, however, as that will definitely be unstable.

The 10 Android apps below represent how good it could be on Chrome once everything becomes official. Just remember, this is beta software, so tread carefully. If things go awry, you can always go back to stable channel or Powerwash your Chromebook and start over.

Full Article – Click Here

More victims expected in unprecedented cyberattack as users log on Monday

PLEASE RUN WINDOWS UPDATES AND ANTIVIRUS UPDATES

FROM FOX BUSINESS NEWS

An unprecedented global “ransomware” attack has hit at least 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, Europe’s police agency said Sunday — and predicted that more damage may be seen Monday as people return to work and switch on their computers.

The attack that began Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, spreading chaos by locking computers that run Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies, factories and government agencies worldwide.

Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, told Sky News that it was now important that IT departments checked their systems on Monday morning to ensure they had not been compromised.

He added: “It’s not a massively sophisticated attack. What is new is the use of a worm to propagate through systems.

“It is beyond anything we have seen before.”

NATIONS BATTLE CYBERATTACK DAMAGES; UK FOCUSES ON HOSPITALS

Wilson spoke as hospitals in the United Kingdom were beginning to get back to normal, although some were still experiencing problems after the global attack which hit 48 National Health Service trusts in England and 13 Scottish health boards, according to Sky News.

Security experts warned that further cyberattacks are likely.

“The global reach is unprecedented and beyond what we have seen before,” Rob Wainwright, director of the Netherlands-based Europol said Sunday “The latest count is over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, and those victims, many of those will be businesses, including large corporations.”

“At the moment, we are in the face of an escalating threat. The numbers are going up,” he added. “I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday morning.”

Jan Op Gen Oorth, spokesman for Europol, said the number of individuals who have fallen victim to the cyberextortion attack could be much higher.

Wainwright said the attack was indiscriminate, fast-spreading and unique, because the ransomware was being used in combination with a worm, which means the infection of one computer automatically could spread it through a whole network.

READ MORE HERE

 

Google Docs Scam – BEWARE!

Google Docs warning: There’s a phishing scam going around

(From USA TODAY)

LOS ANGELES— Quick warning: if there’s an e-mail in your inbox asking you to open a Google Docs from someone, and you don’t know who it is, don’t open it.

It’s probably a phishing email disguised as a contact attempting to share a file from Google Docs, says Google.

The scam is one of the oldest around, akin to sending an e-mail asking you to click a hyperlink. Do so, and hackers can get access to your information.

The email appears to come from someone inviting the user to share a document. The sophisticated email looks very similar to one sent by Google, but appears to come from an individual Gmail account. Look closely and you’ll see the difference between bogus and fake.

 

A reliable Google Doc invites you to edit a document, and has the blue Google Docs logo next to the doc name. The bogus e-mail that went out Wednesday, which USA TODAY received, doesn’t state the name of the doc, nor have its name or Google Docs logo.

Google released a statement Wednesday, saying it had  taken action to protect users against the impersonating email, and have disabled offending accounts. “We’ve removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail.”

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Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit

By Jonathan Stempel http://www.reuters.com

Bose Corp spies on its wireless headphone customers by using an app that tracks the music, podcasts and other audio they listen to, and violates their privacy rights by selling the information without permission, a lawsuit charged.

The complaint filed on Tuesday by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago seeks an injunction to stop Bose’s “wholesale disregard” for the privacy of customers who download its free Bose Connect app from Apple Inc or Google Play stores to their smartphones.

“People should be uncomfortable with it,” Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, said in an interview. “People put headphones on their head because they think it’s private, but they can be giving out information they don’t want to share.”

Bose did not respond on Wednesday to requests for comment on the proposed class action case. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company has said annual sales top $3.5 billion.

Zak’s lawsuit was the latest to accuse companies of trying to boost profit by quietly amassing customer information, and then selling it or using it to solicit more business.

After paying $350 for his QuietComfort 35 headphones, Zak said he took Bose’s suggestion to “get the most out of your headphones” by downloading its app, and providing his name, email address and headphone serial number in the process.

Read More HERE