Police officers in the UK have been warned about proper social media etiquette, so they should not tweet while naked or after drinking, and should even avoid sharing updates on social media if they are eating doughnuts. Some UK police officers have been found sharing racist and homophobic comments on Twitter, along with reckless pictures in which they are posing with weapons.
If police are reckless with social media, it's likely that someone will notice - and tweets will be re-tweeted and Facebook status updates will be shared. There have been 828 cases of online-related incidents in the UK from 2009 until February 2014, according to Freedom of Information requests. Officers receive written warnings when found being inappropriate on social media, and punishments can escalate depending on a case-by-case basis.
"Social media is a key tool for us in having conversations with communities, using it not only to pass information but to receive information about crime and incidents, help people make informed choices," said Ian Hopkins, Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable, in a UK media statement. "So staff must act with integrity, with fairness, with honesty, openness, and regardless of whether they are tweeting as John Smith or Joanna Smith, if they are recognizable as a PC or a member of police staff, then they have to be taking into account the code of ethics."
Apple is preparing to launch not one, but two new flagship iPhones, with the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone to be announced next month. But what resolution should we expect the 'Retina' display to feature? According to Russian luxury modified iPhone outfit, Feld & Volk, the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has a resolution of 1704x960 - not even Full HD (1920x1080).
Feld & Volk took to the purported 4.7-inch iPhone 6 with a microscope, telling MacRumors that it does have a resolution of 1704x960. Then 9to5Mac reported from another reference to another resolution that still isn't Full HD, of 1472x828, in some recent Xcode 6 beta releases. Whatever happens, if these rumors are correct, Apple's flagship iPhone 6 (in both sizes) won't be featuring a Full HD resolution, which will see its competitors' marketing teams going into a flurry.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed House Bill (HB) 345, a bill that will allow family members of the deceased to access Twitter and other social media accounts. As part of the "Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act," executors of an estate can have legal control of a social media account, in the same manner of controlling a physical asset.
It's an interesting debate because social media accounts typically disappear when a person dies, Facebook and Twitter usually prevents access to the accounts. Facebook plans to memorialize pages of deceased members rather than delete them - and Google will delete accounts or provide access to select family members.
"But if a person dies and his will is governed by Delaware law, the representative of that person's estate would have access to the decedent's Twitter account under HB 345," said Kelly Bachman, Delaware governor's office spokeswoman, in a statement. "So the main question in determining whether HB 345 applies is not where the company having the digital account (i.e. Twitter) is incorporated or even where the person holding the digital account resides."
Pro-Syrian hackers are using WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Viber to share malware that is aimed at activists fighting for a regime change in Syria. In addition to Syrian Internet users, people were also targeted in the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Morocco and Lebanon, security researchers noted.
The malware is using remote access tools (RATs) and being shared to groups that support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The RAT technology are able to compromise PCs and systems in which they are installed, with attackers stealing credentials, remotely turning on microphones and video cameras, and controlling the infected PCs.
"Total Network Monitor (which is a legitimate application) is inside another sample found, being used with embedded malware for spying purposes," according to Kaspersky Lab researchers. "Offering security applications to protect against surveillance is one of the many techniques used by malware writing groups to get users desperate for privacy to execute these dubious programs."
The current protests in Ferguson, Missouri, related to the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, has led to a rather curious debate: could kill switches help police authorities limit journalists and protesters to stop recording video using their smartphones and tablets?
"If the California bill were in place in Missouri, these officers might deploy the government kill switch alongside tear gas and rubber bullets, using the mandated technology to stop coordination between protesters, cut off access to outside information, and shut down video recordings that can deter police misconduct," said Jake Laperruque, Center for Democracy & Technology fellow, in a statement to the media.
It remains unknown if the police would have a realistic ability to turn off smartphones, as the authorities would essentially need to hack the phones. Instead, it's more likely the police would temporarily turn off wireless service in select areas, which is what the police did during protests in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2011.
The Islamic State (IS) has been booted off Twitter multiple times, and is finding other social media platforms to share its propaganda - while fighting in Iraq and Syria intensifies. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the terror group is facing U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and desperately wants to keep its social media recruitment effort underway.
Backup IS accounts were removed from Twitter last week, but the group is focusing more on Diaspora, a community-run, distributed social network. The IS Diaspora accounts first began to appear about one month ago, after the group's main media account and the al-Hayat Media Center, the IS multilingual media branch heading from Twitter to Diaspora.
IS quickly being bounced from Twitter is a significant problem for the propaganda wing of the group, especially with the terrorist group enjoying the opportunity to taunt western leaders, but messages, images, and videos can still be shared to the public.
Coordinated state-sponsored cyberattacks are nothing new, but it looks like Pakistan wants to evolve from simple hacktivism and mature into official cyberespionage. Recent collaborative research from FireEye and ThreatConnect noted advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks dating back to early 2013, which is more common from organized cyberattackers.
The Bitterbug malware, for example, uses US virtual private servers and is designed to steal information and send it back to its operator overseas. It appears that a hosting provider in Pakistan leases the ability to operate a command and control server from a U.S. provider.
"Adversaries are masking their exploitation operations behind U.S. infrastructure and targeting U.S> and international victims," said Rich Barger, ThreatConnect Director of Intelligence Research, in a press release. "These adversaries are purporting to be legitimate organizations and abusing unwitting service providers."
SanDisk today announced the company's first consumer SSD with 3-bits per cell (TLC) flash technology. The new Ultra II is the successor to the award winning Ultra Plus SSD we first tested in January of 2013.
SanDisk calls the comapany's special flavor of TLC flash X3 NAND Flash Technology. The Ultra II also progresses SanDisk's nCache technology, now up to version 2.0 after the original nCache found on the Ultra Plus and nCache Pro found on the Extreme PRO.
SanDisk's Dashboard tool for SSDs is progressing nicely. The software will feature anti-virus, cloning and even theft recovery by the time the Ultra II comes to market.
The SanDisk Ultra II SSD comes with a 3-year warranty and will be available online and through SanDisk's worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers in September. It will be offered in capacities of 120GB (MSRP $79.99), 240GB (MSRP $114.99), 480GB (MSRP $219.99), and 960GB (MSRP $429.99).
As expected this week from Sprint, the company unveiled cheaper pricing plans, including data-heavy family plans available for $160 per month. Sprint will also offer $350 to entice users away from rival wireless carriers, following several years that saw millions of customers abandon ship. A subscriber with four lines and 20GB of shared data will spend $160 per month under new Sprint pricing.
"Sprint is offering the best value to data-hungry consumers. Period," said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO, in a press statement. "We are doubling the high-speed wireless data because today's customers rely so much on their smartphones and tablets. We make it simple and easy for wireless consumers to get the data they need at affordable prices to make their lives easier, more productive and enjoyable."
Sprint's failed bid for T-Mobile left company officials scratching their heads as to what's next - and this latest effort is aimed at better competing with Verizon Wireless and AT&T - while also competing with T-Mobile's disruptive marketing strategies. Four lines with the same data offerings would cost around $310 per month with Verizon and AT&T, and would cost $180 on T-Mobile.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote a letter addressed to current CEO Satya Nadella, stating he is stepping down as a Microsoft board member. Ballmer retired almost six months ago and Microsoft picked Nadella to try to steer the company into a mobile, cloud-connected world.
"I bleed Microsoft - have for 34 years and I always will," Ballmer wrote in the letter. "I continue to love discussing the company's future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can."
It's not a surprise to hear Ballmer has stepped down from the board, especially as his focus turns more towards the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. In addition to owning the NBA franchise, Ballmer has stayed active in the non-profit community, teaching and studying, which is "taking a lot of time."