good news, bad news

S.F. homeless get free phone numbers:

Internet giant Google announced on Wednesday a plan to partner with all the homeless shelters in San Francisco and offer free phone numbers and voice mail accounts to homeless individuals, giving people the ability to distribute their own phone numbers and retrieve voice mail messages left for them whenever and from wherever they choose.

US gov now says Eye-o-Sauron™ border masts are crap | The Register:

After revealing last week that a pilot installation of controversial, buggy border-security scanner towers had finally been accepted into service, the US government has now admitted that the project is a technical failure. Plans to build a so-called “virtual fence” along the Mexican border will proceed, but there will be long delays and very little of the current technology will be used. The Washington Post quotes Richard Stana of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) saying that the initial nine-tower “Project 28” setup “did not fully meet user needs, and the project’s design will not be used as the basis for future… development”.

User-friendly black hats debut Crimeware as a Service (CAAS) | The Register:

In a sense, this crimeware as a service (CAAS) was inevitable. According to an earlier report from Finjan, more than 51 percent of websites that pushed malicious content in the second half of 2007 were legitimate destinations that had been commandeered by bad guys. The service is evidence that there’s money to be made in automating that process – and one more sign that cyber-crime has grown into a full-fledged business where no opportunity to turn a profit is passed up. “You can imagine the magnitude of this marketplace now,” he said in an interview. “They really commercialize everything in this eco-system.” About 10 of the compromised sites are among the 100 most popular internet destinations as measured by Alexa.com. Another 100 are ranked in the top 100 to 500. Sites include some of the world’s more elite organizations, including companies in the financial services, manufacturing and technology industries. They also include government agencies, including at least one belonging to a superior court in the US. Most of the sites are located in the US. Other origins included the Russian Federation, Australia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and the UK.

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