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Daily Archives: July 4, 2024

FTC – Who’s who in scams: a spring roundup

FTC: “Scammers are all about spinning lies, but they still operate in the real world. Many scammers pretend to be well-known businesses to gain trust and make their stories seem more believable. And scammers use real-world methods to contact people and to get paid. Reports to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network point to some of their favorites. Let’s start with the most-impersonated companies. According to 2023 reports, Best Buy’s Geek Squad, Amazon, and PayPal top that list. But reported losses tell a different story: losses were highest when scammers impersonated Microsoft and Publishers Clearing House.The scammers impersonating these businesses work in very different ways. For example, phony Geek Squad emails tell you that a computer service you never signed up for is about to renew – to the tune of several hundred dollars. Microsoft impersonation scams start with a fake security pop-up warning on your computer with a number to call for “help.”And calls from the fake Publishers Clearing House say you’ll have to pay fees to collect your (fake) sweepstakes winnings…”

384,000 sites pull code from sketchy code library recently bought by Chinese firm

Ars Technica: “More than 384,000 websites are linking to a site that was caught last week performing a supply-chain attack that redirected visitors to malicious sites, researchers said. For years, the JavaScript code, hosted at polyfill[.]com, was a legitimate open source project that allowed older browsers to handle advanced functions that weren’t natively supported. By… Continue Reading

FDA Pulls Food Additive in Citrus Sodas Over Health Risks

Gizmodo: “A problematic ingredient in some soft drinks is now officially being taken off the market. The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its authorization that allows brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to be used in food, following recent research suggesting that it could potentially harm people’s thyroid health. BVO is vegetable oil that’s been modified… Continue Reading

Cloudflare is taking a stand against AI website scrapers

engadget – “Cloudflare has released a new free tool that prevents AI companies’ bots from scraping its clients’ websites for content to train large language models. The cloud service provider is making this tool available to its entire customer base, including those on free plans. “This feature will automatically be updated over time as we… Continue Reading

These cities have the highest share of unaffordable neighborhoods in 2024

creditnews: “Homeownership is one of the key pillars of the American dream. But for many families, the idyllic fantasy of a picket fence and backyard barbecues remains just that—a fantasy. Thanks to elevated mortgage rates, sky-high house prices, and scarce inventory, millions of American families have been locked out of the opportunity to buy a… Continue Reading

Closer to Vermeer and the Girl

Mauritshuis: “New discoveries and insights from the international scientific examination. Girl with the Pearl Earring (c. 1665) by Johannes Vermeer is one of the most famous paintings in the world. Two years ago, an international team of scientists from various museums and institutions examined Vermeer’s masterpiece in full public view. Now, two years later, the… Continue Reading