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Volkswagen really screwed the pooch with its diesel emission fraud, with over 500,000 US regulators and diesel vehicle owners seeing a settlement of over $15 billion in cash, according to Reuters.
If the settlement goes through, it'll be the largest ever automotive buyback in American history, and the most expensive scandal in the automotive industry. Last year, Volkswagen was caught in a scandal, where it had lied to regulators, installing secret software that allowed US cars to push out up to 40x more pollution. The settlement is expected to be finalized soon, with $10.03 billion in buyback offers to owners of around 475,000 polluting vehicles, and close to $5 billion to offset excess diesel emissions, and boost zero emission vehicles.
Reuters reports: "A separate settlement with nearly all U.S. state attorneys general over excess diesel emissions will be announced on Tuesday and is expected to be more than $500 million and will push the total to over $15 billion, a separate source briefed on the matter said. Spokeswomen for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Volkswagen declined to comment. Speaking on condition of anonymity, due to court-imposed gag rules, the original source said that owners of 2.0 liter diesel VW 2009-2015 cars will receive an average of $5,000 in compensation along with the estimated value of the vehicles as of September 2015, before the scandal erupted".
I don't even know how to begin this news post, but the Chewbacca Mom has made a very swift $400,000 since her Facebook Live video went viral three weeks ago.
In that time, Chewbacca Mom or Candace Payne, has made $400,000 from gifts received, and is now charging $20 per autograph. Payne will be at the Dallas Fan Expo on Sunday, with her booth directly beside Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson, with Payne charging people $20 per autograph. Payne said that she'll be donating a portion of the profits to a Christian ministry initiative - Oak's Followship "All-In".
How. Why. How. I don't even.
North Korea's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has announced a nation-wide ban on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as YouTube and even porn sites.
The Associated Press reports that North Korea is tightening its grip on censorship by blocking access to major social media sites for "a certain period of time". The ban also includes several South Korean websites, as well as gambling and porn sites. The government warns that anyone who attempts to circumvent the ban or distribute "anti-republic data" will be punished.
As North Korean citizens are walled off from the outside web and only have access to a government-controlled intranet, the new restrictions are aimed at making it extremely difficult for visitors and foreign residents to share the country's current events with the outside world. Before now visitors were able to enjoy unrestricted access to the web. Interestingly enough, Instagram has been whitelisted and isn't banned by the new law.
In response to the devastating terror attacks in Paris, the French government may pass a series of bills severely limits the online freedom of its citizens during declared states of emergency.
The French newspaper Le Monde acquired the leaked Ministry of Interior documents that outline key legislature that compromises the online privacy of its citizens. According to the publication, there are two separate bills that have different ranges of severity.
The first bill calls for all free and shared Wi-Fi connections to be forcibly closed during a state of emergency. The idea behind this is to disrupt terrorist communications and make it easier for police and officials to track suspects. While open Wi-Fi networks are generally more insecure, police have a hard time pinpointing the location of users tethered to free hotspots.
We all heard about Ahmed "Clock Kid" Mohamed, where earlier this year he was arrested under the suspicion of making a "hoax bomb" that turned out to just be a clock.
At the time, one teacher at his school said they saw Ahmed's creation and said it looked like a bomb. But now Ahmed's family has lawyered up, with their lawyer stating that school officials never thought of the clock as an explosive device and that the second teacher didn't treat the clock as if it were dangerous.
The teacher escorted Ahmed to the office, where he met five police officers, the principal and the assistant principal, where they performed and "interrogation". During that time, Ahmed wasn't allowed to contact his parents, and he was forced to sign a letter of confession as he was threatened with expulsion. Ahmed's family moved home to Qatar last month, but they want to come back. Their letter of demand is seeking $15 million, but they also want written apologies from both the mayor and Irving police chief for leading Ahmed's reputation "permanently scarred".
Well then. According to the information scraped from Ashley Madison's database, it looks like as much as 95% of their members were male. But now The Impact Team has gone through the dumped data, with quite the revelation: just 12,000 of the 5.5 million women on the site were 'real'.
Out of the 37 million accounts, 31 million were men and 5.5 million were women. But this is where The Impact Team and their look into the data gets juicier. After speaking with a data scientist, the publication began comparing male and female profiles, looking for certain patterns. Looking at members' e-mail addresses pointed towards a few very obvious accounts, such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and so on. When the IP addresses were checked, it showed that 80,000 or more accounts were created locally, within the company.
But the biggest anomaly of them all is that there were unusual last names for hundreds of accounts, but there's the biggest glaring fact: just 1,492 women checked their messages on the site. Comparing 1,492 women checking their messages, against the 20 million men who checked their accounts, we can see that there is a big disparity in the sexes there. Just 2,400 women started a conversation using the chat system on Ashley Madison, compared to the 11 million men that used the chat feature.
In a petition on Change.org, Billy Johnson from the US has asked Ellen Pao, the CEO of Reddit, to step down from her position. I went to write this article about two hours ago but had to run out of the house for a while, where at that time, there were 75,300 signatures.
Two hours later, there are 83,500 signatures asking for Pao to step down. Why is Pao being asked to step down? Well, the company just fired its Director of Communications, Victoria Taylor, who was responsible for some of the most popular subreddits on the site, such as /r/IAmA and many more. Taylor was the main contact for many celebrities and other high-profile figures, and in response to her being fired, Reddit moderators have "effectively shut down many of the site's most popular sections" reports The Verge.
But when it comes to the petition asking for Pao to step down, Johnson writes: "Ellen K. Pao is a lawyer and the chief executive officer of the Internet company Reddit Inc. After Pao lost her gender discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins she was appointed CEO of Reddit Inc and Reddit entered into a new age of censorship. A vast majority of the Reddit community believes that Pao, "a manipulative individual who will sue her way to the top", has overstepped her boundaries and fears that she will run Reddit into the ground. Alternative sites to Reddit.com have sprung up and have received vast amounts of traffic within the recent months". He finishes with: "Action must be taken to prevent Reddit from being further run into the ground".
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has just announced that their cloud provider service will be powered by a wind farm in the future. Looking to produce 150 megawatts total of power, this is part of AWS' bid to move toward fully renewable energy supplies.
This farm is aiming to generate half a million megawatt hours by January 2016, seeing the 150 megawatt value being reached at a later date.
Named Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge), this project is being developed with help from AWS partners Pattern Energy Group. This announcement is further said to be due to Greenpeace attacking Amazon for refusing to provide details on how it planned to make the more to renewable energy. Amazon also claims that cloud computing is more environmentally friendly than traditional options due to sever capacity usage and less power consumption is needed to power their infrastructure.
Doctors have said that a 32-year-old man has died after playing 72 hours of non-stop games at an Internet cafe in Taiwan, without taking a break from his long gaming session.
The man known as Hsieh was found slumped motionless in his chair, reports the Taipei Times. He died last week, but the press only caught wind of the story on Friday. Gamers that surrounded Hsieh in the Internet cafe thought he was just sleeping after his massive gaming binge, but one of the Internet cafe's employees noticed that he wasn't breathing. Once Hsieh reached the hospital, he was pronounced dead.
The cafe attendant told reporters: "Hsieh was a regular customer here and always played for consecutive days. When tired, he would sleep face-down on the table or doze off slumped in his chair. That is why we were not aware of his condition in the beginning". Hunei Police Precinct Chief Wend Chung-neng said: "We advise people to get up and move around after every two hours of computer gaming. More patrols will be conducted to remind residents about the dangers of prolonged sitting and game-playing".
Some hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of the New York Post and the United Press International, where they said that World War III had been declared by the Pope and that the United States and China were engaged in a serious military battle.
This was obviously a hoax, with both the UPI and New York Post stating their respective Twitter feeds had been hacked by 1PM on Friday, just as US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the media about the concerns of cyber security, and the fact they need to increase their online defenses.
The news organizations' Twitter feeds were throwing out some really huge statements, saying that China condemning President Obama's "pivot to Asia" before firing on, and damaging the USS George Washington, which is an American aircraft carrier based in the Pacific. The hacked feeds were also spouting that the US were engaged in "active combat" against China in the South China Sea. One of the tweets read: "US Joint Chief of staff: USS George Washington damaged, US navy now engaged in active combat against Chinese vessels in South China sea". Another tweet said "JUST IN: Xi Jinping: Obama 'condemned' for Asia pivot, 'has forced China to protect its interests through military means".