Apple replacing some 2011-2012 iMac graphics cards

Apple on Friday began a new program to replace faulty graphics cards found in some mid-2011 to late-2012 iMacs.

The program covers systems with AMD Radeon HD 6970M video cards. Those were found in the 27-inch iMac models with either the 3.1GHz or 3.4GHz quad-core Intel i-series chips.

According to support language, the video cards could fail, "causing the computer display to appear distorted, white or blue with vertical lines, or to turn black."

That iteration of iMac was sold between May 2011 to October 2012.

The program overlaps with an earlier replacement program covering Seagate … Read more

Hacker pleads not guilty to stealing 160M credit cards

One of the five men accused of perpetrating the largest hacking scheme ever prosecuted in the U.S., which culminated with the theft of more than 160 million credit card numbers, pleaded not guilty on Monday, according to Reuters.

The charges levied against Dmitriy Smilianets, 29, include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and unauthorized access to computers. If convicted, he could spend the next 65 years in prison.

Smilianets is originally from Russia but was extradited to the U.S. from the Netherlands last year. On Monday, he entered his not guilty plea in federal court in Newark, … Read more

Gutting and solving the heart of the cards at Def Con 21

While Def Con packs more events, workshops, and contests than the storage space of a ZIP drive, one of the longest lasting traditions revolves around the mysteries of the conference badge, itself.

This year, Def Con celebrates its 21st birthday with a card-themed cryptographic challenge based on the standard playing card deck -- except this is no ordinary card deck.

Attendees of Def Con 21 are all given custom badges, which are actually elegantly fabricated PCB boards complete with delicately carved copper contact points, mathematical constants, binary numbers, Chinese characters, and more.

In an improved and renewed focus on social … Read more

Russian police spy on people's mobile data to catch thieves

Here's some irony: as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden hides out in Russia for exposing the U.S. government's secret surveillance program, the Russian Police Department is commencing an invasive spying program of its own.

Under the guise of catching cell phone thieves, Moscow police will soon be using machines that can read data on subway passenger's cell phones, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia. Moscow Metro police chief Andrei Mokhov announced on Monday that these devices can track data on SIM cards up to five meters away.

Reportedly, the tracking device will alert the police if it finds … Read more

Get two $25 iTunes gift cards for $40

I love gift cards. There's just something awesome about walking into, say, Starbucks, and feeling like I'm getting my decaf skinny mocha Frappucino for free.

Same goes for shopping on iTunes. You just gotta love buying an album, e-book, movie, or the like without spending "real money." If I get nothing but gift cards for all my remaining birthdays, Father's Days, Chanukah days, and other gift-worthy occasions, I'll be a happy fellow.

And if anyone happens to be shopping for me (or, sigh, someone else), today's your lucky day: OfficeMax has two $25 iTunes gift cards for $40 shipped. … Read more

Feds accuse five men of largest U.S. hacking scheme

Five men have been accused by the U.S. government of perpetrating the largest hacking scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.

Court documents revealed Thursday in federal court in New Jersey said the five men from Russia and Ukraine were able to hack into the computer systems at the Nasdaq, J.C. Penney, 7-Eleven, and JetBlue Airways, among other companies. Obtaining around 160 million credit and debit card numbers, the individuals allegedly were able to steal more than $300 million from at least three of the targeted companies, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The hacking began in 2005 … Read more

The 404 1,306: Where it's safe to drink the water (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Apple earnings beat with $35.3 billion in sales, 31.2M iPhones.

- iPad sales sink, while iPhone sales hit record numbers.

- Apple now EA's biggest retail partner, thanks to iOS.

- Follow Jill on Twitter and check out her radio show Jill On Money!.… Read more

Augmented-reality greeting cards really pop out at you

Years ago, someone came up with the bright idea of building little pop-ups into greeting cards so, when you open them, a little paper birthday cake or present jumps out at you. That concept is not too far off from what greeting card company Artiphany and augmented-reality tech company DAQRI are trying to do with the Gizmo Kickstarter project.

Gizmo greeting cards all sport a red robot on the front. Download the DAQRI app, point your phone or tablet at the front of the card, and watch an interactive animation come to life. The cards can be customized with stickers for sharing birthday, winter holiday, and Valentine sentiments.… Read more

Citi Bike leaks private info of 1,174 customers by accident

Just before launching, the New York bicycle-sharing program Citi Bike accidentally leaked the private account information of 1,174 of its customers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The data was exposed via a software glitch and included customers' names, contact information, credit card numbers and security codes, passwords, and birth dates.

While the data leak apparently took place on April 15, a few weeks before the program launched in the city, the company didn't notify the affected customers until July 19. According to the Wall Street Journal, Citi Bike discovered the breach at the end of May and … Read more

SIM card flaw said to allow hijacking of millions of phones

A vulnerability on SIM cards used in some mobile phones could allow malware infection and surveillance, a security researcher warns.

Karsten Nohl, founder of Security Research Labs in Berlin, told The New York Times that he has identified a flaw in SIM encryption technology that could allow an attacker to obtain a SIM card's digital key, the 56-digit sequence that allows modification of the card. The flaw, which may affect as many as 750 million mobile phones, could allow eavesdropping on phone conversations, fraudulent purchases, or impersonation of the handset's owner, Nohl warned.

"We can remotely install … Read more