10 tech things we didn't know a week ago

10 tech things we didn't know a week ago

Summary: Behind on the news and hungry for more? Here's what we learned this week — including the 'easter eggs' in early Microsoft code, and how the U.S. will treat Bitcoin.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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  • 4. ISPs can, in fact, be forced to block pirate sites, EU court says

    Despite the U.S. government's bid to enforce site blocking through controversial legislation, EU governments might now have a cause for celebration, after the highest court in the 28 member state bloc confirmed ISPs can be required to block access to pirate sites. According to the verdict, blocking orders do not restrict an ISPs freedom to serve its customers or conduct its business. The EU decision bounces the decision-making process back to member state national courts.

    Image: CNET

  • 5. After antitrust ruling, Amazon may have free money for you

    Following the Apple "cartel" ruling that landed the iPhone and iPad maker in hot water with U.S. authorities over alleged antitrust behaviour against Amazon, the retail giant has passed the settlement back to its customers. That may mean depending on your past Kindle ebook library spending, you may have a spare few dollars of credit to spend. 

    Image: Tabris Chen/Twitter

  • 6. Bitcoin is property, not currency, according to the U.S.

    The U.S. government will not treat the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as currency — instead it shall be considered property, which makes it the first substantive ruling by the U.S. tax authority. According to experts speaking to Bloomberg, the ruling is not as good for consumers, and some are already asking the Internal Revenue Service to change its mind.

    Image: stock image

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • 95% of ATMs run WindowsXP embedded, which is supported until 2016

    and accessing the USB port requires physically breaking into the ATM and then requires the ATM to have a number of other security flaws to work.

    I like this article series, but leaving out important details (or just getting them wrong) really devalues the service you are trying to provide.
  • Image #7 is in Assembler language

    MS DOS was written in Assembler?
    And Zack just learned that not all variable names are fit to print?

    I guess numbers #7-9 are here just to bring the total number to the respectable 10 :-(
  • ATMs run on Windows XP


    If they run on XP, they run on the Pro version, not anything else, and definitely NOT the embedded version. STOP spreading FUD!!!

    And the machines don't have any USB ports.
  • Let me just plug this USB device into the ATM, and... bingo!

    Seriously, you're still repeating that rubbish about ATMs? Pretty much any IT environment can be broken into if you have physical access to the right input ports. Strangely, I don't remember ever seeing an ATM with clearly accessible USB ports.

    In other words, you need the kind of access to the ATM that would already permit you to steal all the money. And then get busted because the banks know exactly who has that access. If you have decided to steal from an ATM, you would be better off grabbing the whole machine. Or standing in line and pointing a gun at the guy who just withdrew $500.

    This is yet another scare from a company that thinks it can drum up business by scaring bank customers (no point scaring the bank, they already know how moronic the idea is).

    Banks do not make their ATMs accessible to the Internet. You can't just browse to one and hack in. There is absolutely no compelling argument for upgrading ATMS from a stable Windows XP installation - regardless of it not receiving patches that it doesn't need to address security issues to which it is not exposed.