IBM's new services zero in on fraud, financial crime

IBM has introduced new software and services to help organizations use big data to address financial losses caused by fraud.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based firm says that $3.5 trillion is lost every year to fraud and financial crime. To combat these problems, IBM has launched its "smart counter fraud" initiative, which includes software and services based on over 500 fraud consultants, 290 fraud-related research patents, and the investment of $24 billion in to IBM's Big Data software since 2005.

IBM says these new services can detect a number of criminal activities, including tax evasion, money … Read more

In LA, faulty GPS trackers let criminals roam undetected

GPS helped change our perception of crime.

In movies, following the bad guys on foot or by car was always fraught with danger and the sudden interference of a random slow pedestrian or Volvo driver.

Subsequently, the sudden ability to slip a GPS tracker on the bad guys' car meant the police could munch on donuts and cheerily wait for their prey to stop when nature called.

It seems, though, that in the heart of movieland, technology is messing with the script.

As the LA Times reported Thursday, GPS trackers that are being placed on serious criminals released on probation … Read more

Alleged thieves shoot selves in foot with Instagram burger pic

You know the drill.

People are accused of doing something not quite legal, and the authorities catch up with them through a social network.

You know the thrill.

Whenever you've done something vaguely exciting like trimming your fingernails or buying a lot of burgers, you just have to let someone know. Actually, these days you just have to let everyone know.

And so it came to pass that four young men in California stand accused of breaking into a car, stealing a credit card (among other things), and then eating at Carl's Jr.

The last might not seem … Read more

Silk Road drug busts multiply, eight new people arrested

Authorities are not stopping with the takedown of Silk Road's alleged owner; they've also started going after supposed drug dealers who used the online black market Web site.

Since alleged owner Ross Ulbricht's indictment last week, eight people in three different countries have been arrested in association with Silk Road. Authorities claim all these people were dealing drugs on the site.

In the US, two people were arrested in Bellevue, Wash., for allegedly dealing cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine to hundreds of buyers, according to journalist Brian Krebs. Steven Lloyd Sadler, 40, was allegedly a top seller on … Read more

Red Cross: Penalize war crimes in video games

Some war video games have reached an incredible level of realism and sophistication in their depiction of armed conflict. Everyday gamers can immerse themselves in the same sort of video games used to train real soldiers. The International Committee of the Red Cross wants these kinds of games to be so real as to also depict punishments for war crimes.

The ICRC is aiming to work with video game developers on integrating virtual consequences. It is especially concerned with crimes such as the use of torture during interrogation, deliberate attacks on civilians, and attacks on medical units. The organization doesn't oppose the inclusion of these acts in video games, since they happen in real life, but believes there should be penalties for players who engage in them.… Read more

Teen suspect 'likes' his pic on police Facebook page

We just can't resist it when people talk about us, write about us, or post our picture.

It's a validation which, in these socially networked times, we hope will spread far and wide.

True, like swans staring at their own reflection, we might lose our sense of place and propriety.

But I wonder if all of us, on seeing our picture on a police Facebook page, would not merely stare and admire, but actually click on that pesky "Like" button.

Yet this is what 18-year-old Luis Rodriguez is said to have done.

According to CBS Los Angeles, … Read more

Google to release Apple-like 'Find My Phone' app at long last

One of the few OS perks iPhone owners have still held over the heads of their Android compatriots is Apple's official -- and free -- app for locating and remote wiping a lost device.

After years of user complaints and shoddy third-party variants, Google has finally answered iOS's "Find My iPhone" feature with a locator of its own: the Android Device Manager.

To be released later this month, the app will let Android users find and ring a misplaced or stolen device on a map in real time, as well as wipe its contents remotely. The … Read more

Twitter to simplify the reporting of abusive tweets, after outcry over rape threats

After an outcry in Britain over rape threats on Twitter, the company said a feature designed to make it easier to report abusive tweets when using Twitter on the iPhone would be coming to other platforms. And the recipient of those threats expressed approval but added that the service needs "to step up and take responsibility for what is tweeted on their site."

Earlier Saturday, an executive with Twitter UK said the service was testing ways to make abuse reporting simpler. Twitter UK General Manager Tony Wang sent a series of tweets saying that the service takes online … Read more

Apple, others to meet with law enforcement over violent phone thefts

With violent street thefts of smartphones and other mobile gear continuing to be a problem, top law enforcement officials from New York and San Francisco will meet with Apple, Google, and other manufacturers next week to discuss possible tech solutions, such as a "kill switch" that would render stolen devices worthless.

"With 1.6 million Americans falling victim to smartphone theft in 2012, this has become a national epidemic," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in a press release Wednesday. "Unlike other types of crimes, smartphone theft can be eradicated with a simple technological … Read more

Teen dies trying to hold onto iPad during theft, police say

It's a natural instinct to resist if someone tries to steal something out of your hand.

In Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon, that instinct might have cost a 15-year-old boy his life.

As the Las Vegas Sun reports, Marcos Vincente Arenas was walking down the street, holding an iPad. … Read more