$179 Mentioned Above Apple TV 4K (32GB) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 1:49 $169 Comments See It Best Buy If you have a bootleg streaming device, chances are it’s filled with malware, researchers found. Sarah Tew/CNET It seems there’s no such thing as a free show.Security researchers from the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) and Dark Wolfe Consulting looked into six streaming devices that offered free shows through pirated apps and found nearly half of them were packed with malware. While you may have bought a bona fide Apple TV or Roku to watch shows on Netflix or Hulu, there’s an entire market online for jailbroken and modified devices that are tuned to watch this same content for free. They come at a much cheaper price and offer free, unlimited access to shows that you’d normally have to pay a subscription fee for. These devices work just like a Roku or a Fire TV Stick — you plug it into your TV and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. In some cases, they’re loaded with apps. 7 Now playing: Watch this: The DCA and Dark Wolfe found that there were 12 million active users in the US with these devices, meaning that millions of people are exposed to malware packed with these free shows, according to a report DCA published Thursday. “You have a choice, you can either have free movies, or your bank account,” said Tom Galvin, the DCA’s executive director. “When you bring one of these into your home, you’ve escorted a hacker past your security.” One app for pirated movies and live sports, called Mobdro, immediately forwarded his Wi-Fi network name and password to servers in Indonesia, he said. Other apps would collect data on the user, including photos and videos on the network, and upload them to the server. In one case, an app collected more than a terabyte of data after getting connected to Wolfe’s network. These apps offered streams on movies that were still in theaters during the study time, like Aquaman and Green Book, as well as access to pay-per-views like UFC fights. One app, called “Free Netflix,” used a network of stolen Netflix accounts that would constantly rotate so that hacked users would not become suspicious, Wolfe said.In the background, these apps were scanning victims’ networks, looking for open ports to infect other devices, he said. “Once you start using these rogue apps, nothing is free, there’s always some angle to them,” Wolfe said. In one case, when the DCA arranged to buy one of the devices off Craigslist, the seller came out of the Department of Labor building in Washington, DC, to hand off the goods. On hacker forums, the researchers found that criminals online were discussing ways to exploit this malware. “Streaming is where consumers go to for their home entertainment, which means hackers and criminals are now targeting streaming as a place to exploit consumers,” Galvin said. $179 Apple See it See It Crutchfield Tags If the hardware isn’t laced with malware, the apps are, Timber Wolfe, a principal at Dark Wolfe Consulting, found in his research. He said 40% of apps for these devices were infected with malware that can take over a camera or microphone on the network within the first hour.As viewers move to streaming devices to watch shows, like Apple TVs, Rokus, Chromecasts and Fire TVs, black market sellers have capitalized on cordcutters by offering pirated alternatives. Cybercriminals have taken notice, by targeting these bootleg boxes with malware, researchers found. On April 8, the FCC issued an enforcement advisory warning that they were fining up to $19,639 per day for people selling these illegal streaming boxes, as well as people using them. While they aren’t in stores, you can still find them in popular sites like eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. They’re also often sold at flea markets and malls for about $75 to $100. People are enticed to buy them because they promise free streams on sports, live shows and new movies. Once you start using these rogue apps, nothing is free, there’s always some angle to them. Timber Wolfe, Dark Wolfe Consulting Those bootleg streaming devices have malware preinstalled Review • Apple TV 4K review: The best TV streamer keeps getting better Malware Share your voice See It $179 Apple TV 4K TV and Movies Security Preview • Apple TV 4K: New $179 Apple streamer adds HDR, better gaming
India has added France, Canada and 29 other countries to its e-Tourist Visa scheme, which simplifies lengthy procedures for international travellers who visit the country for sightseeing, medical treatment, short business visit or meet friends and relatives. “The government extended the e-Tourist visa facility to 31 more countries effective from 1 May,” The Economic Times said, quoting a statement from the Home Ministry. With the latest addition, the scheme now covers 76 countries. The 31 countries included are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominic an Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Grenada, Haiti, HolySee (Vatican), Honduras, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St Kitts & Nevis and Seychelles.The scheme, launched in November last year, will include many more countries in the coming months. “The scheme will be extended to more countries in a phased manner. The Government is committed to extend the scheme to 150 countries by the end of this financial year,” the statement said. The government has issued 1,10,000 visas so far since its launch last year.The scheme enables the citizens those intend to visit the country to apply for visa online without approaching the Indian Mission.Upon approval, the visitors would receive an e-mail authorizing their travel to India. After arriving in India, tourists have to produce the authorization letters to the immigration authorities for stamping.In last December alone, the total number of visas issued under the scheme to 14,083.
Karnataka political party logosIBTimesAs the election result dates are nearing there is a strong sense of grim objection towards the ruling coalition of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular in Karnataka, according to the exit poll predictions.The constant unrest among the coalition partners in the state has often led to a disagreement between the parties with both the party workers supporting their leaders rather than focusing on the partnership to gain the majority.The Congress was successful during last year’s assembly elections to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party at bay by keeping an alliance with the JD(S). However, the fortunes have been more befitting for the BJP due to their immense popularity which is gaining more followers every day.A miscellaneous look on the polls shows that out of 13 exit polls for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka the Congress-JD(S) alliance will only gather 9 seats whereas the BJP will grab 19 seats.According to the India Today Axis poll, the saffron party will win between 21-25 seats and the coalition partners will have 3 and 5 seats.The News18 IPSOS polls predicted the BJP win 20-23 seats with a vote share of 54.47% and the UPA will wrest 5-8 seats with 41.85% of the votes.The Republic C- Voter survey has predicted 18 seats for the NDA followed by 9 seats for UPA and the ABP-Nielsen survey predicts 15 seats for NDA and 13 for UPA.Although the exit poll figures are not always true, there is a lot of disgruntled party leaders in Congress who have given up on favouring the party and has joined the saffron politics. And with the looming differences between both the parties can topple the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy.With a major fracture for the Congress in 2017 elections after the party only won 9 seats and JD(S) only 2, while the BJP garnered 17 seats in Karnataka marking a major victory for the saffron party.While the Congress-JD(S) alliance has pushed the major factors affecting the state like farmers issues, water and unemployment the BJP has played well with its nationalistic emotions and growing popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government which has promised of a stable government.However, the end result can be seen on May 23 after the poll results get announced. The results will determine the future of the alliance partners and the saffron party who has been fighting inch-to-inch in the poll battle.
DhakaBangladesh’s capital city has grown rapidly without urban development proper, and lack of adequate planning has led to congestion in Dhaka city and its poor livability.This was observed in a new World Bank analysis that was shared at a high-level international conference at a city hotel on Wednesday.Many residents, including the 3.5 million slum dwellers, often lack of access to basic services, infrastructure and amenities, said the analysis.It mentioned that with 36 per cent of the country’s urban population living in greater Dhaka, the capital city has become one of the world’s most densely populated cities.The global agency insisted that Bangladesh must manage Dhaka’s urban growth to achieve its vision of becoming an upper-middle income country by its 50th birthday.The WB recommended taking full advantage of East Dhaka – where there is ample availability of land near the core of the city – to increase the city’s economic opportunities and livability.In its analysis, the WB pointed out that in the past 10 years, average traffic speed has dropped from 21 km/hour to 7 km/hour, only slightly above the average walking speed.Congestion in Dhaka also eats up 3.2 million working hours per day, according to the analysis.“Based on current trends, Dhaka will have more than 35 million people by 2035. A productive and livable city of this scale can make enormous contribution to its citizens and the economy,” said WB country director Qimiao Fan.“However,” he added, “Dhaka must seize the opportunity to properly plan, coordinate, and invest for the future to achieve its full potential. As Bangladesh’s long-term development partner, the World Bank looks forward to supporting the city’s ambitious transformation.”Martin Rama, WB chief economist for South Asia, cited the examples of Eastern Shanghai’s Pudong District and some others that demonstrated proper planning and execution could encourage economic vibrancy, improve livability, and ease congestion.“With Dhaka’s huge and increasing population, developing East Dhaka in a sustainable manner is more effective and economical than attempting to retrofit over-built and over-congested areas. The time to act is now,” he said.Sheila Dikshit, former chief minister of Delhi, India, and Qizheng Zhao, former vice mayor of Shanghai, China shared their experiences on transformations in Delhi and in Eastern Shanghai’s Pudong district, respectively.Both cities gained greatly from public-private partnerships as well as coordination efforts from multiple ministries and agencies, said a WB news release.Local government, rural development and cooperatives minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain delivered the keynote speech.Policy makers, senior government officials, mayors for Dhaka North and South, urban planners, civil society representatives, and private sector leaders also joined the conference.
Asaduzzaman Khan KamalHome minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Tuesday that the government would take BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for conducting necessary wellness check if her party wants.“Khaleda Zia will be taken to the CHM for necessary medical checkups if BNP denies taking her treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College Hospital (BSMMU),” he said at his Secretariat office.“We have prepared a proposal to bring Khaleda Zia to the CMH for conducting wellness check and there is no scope for them to deny the hospital as it is an affluent one,” he said.“I will request personal and trusted physicians of Khaleda Zia to be present at the time of conducting Khaleda Zia’s physical examination,” he said, adding that he could not understand why Khaleda Zia doesn’t want to go BSMMU Hospital as it is a well-equipped and modern hospital.The minister said this upon filling a petition over sending Khaleda Zia to the United Hospital for conducting health checkups.A three-member representative of BNP led by Khaleda Zia’s younger brother Shamim Iskander today submitted the petition after meeting home minister Asaduzzaman Khan at his office.“The government has taken the highest effort for Khaleda Zia’s physical examination in accordance with the jail code and she will be treated as per the advice of civil surgeon and physicians of prison,” he added.
Houston Public Media/ArchiveHarris County Criminal Justice CenterThe Hurricane Harvey-damaged Harris County Criminal Justice Center in downtown Houston could remain closed for two more years during flood-related repairs.The Houston Chronicle reports county officials on Thursday received an update from an architectural firm assessing the 20-story structure.Harvey made landfall in South Texas on Aug. 25, causing storms that dumped several feet of rain and swamped parts of Houston. The lower part of the courts building flooded, with equipment damage affecting the entire skyscraper.Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack says the courts building will likely remain closed until late 2019 or early 2020. A cost estimate for repairs could be available by March.Court operations and hundreds of staffers, including more than 30 judges, have relocated to other buildings with some makeshift courtrooms in a jail basement. Share
Share Richard Drew/APTrader Fran O’Connell works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones industrial average rebounded sharply on Monday following a report of U.S.-China trade talks.Updated at 4:05 p.m. ETU.S. stock indexes surged about 3 percent Monday after fears eased of a trade war with China. The two big trading partners reportedly are negotiating to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets.The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. and China have “quietly started negotiating” and that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is considering a trip to Beijing for talks.The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 669 points, or nearly 2.8 percent, to 24,203. The S&P 500 index climbed 70 points, or 2.7 percent, and the Nasdaq gained 228 points, or 3.3 percentLast Thursday and Friday, the Dow lost more than a total of 1,100 points amid increasing signs of a looming trade war between the two major trading partners.The Journal, citing people with knowledge of the matter, said:“The talks, which cover wide areas including financial services and manufacturing, are being led by Liu He, China’s economic czar in Beijing, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington.“In a letter Messrs. Mnuchin and Lighthizer sent to Mr. Liu late last week, the Trump administration set out specific requests that include a reduction of Chinese tariffs on U.S. automobiles, more Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductors and greater access to China’s financial sector by American companies, the people said. Mr. Mnuchin is weighing a trip to Beijing to pursue the negotiations, one of these people said.”Stock indexes around the world fell last week as the Trump administration prepared to impose stiff tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid to cut the U.S. trade deficit with China by $50 billion.“The tariffs on China are a response to long-standing complaints that Beijing unfairly requires U.S. companies to share their technology as a cost of doing business in that country,” NPR’s Scott Horsley reported.The Chinese government announced a list of retaliatory tariffs it would impose on about $3 billion worth of U.S. exports, in response to a separate set of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. President Trump on Thursday signed a temporary exemption — until May 1 — from the steel and aluminum tariffs for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.Speaking Monday on Morning Edition, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the U.S. should focus “on what is a major issue … the forced transfer of valuable U.S. technologies to Chinese firms, and not concentrate on issues that are probably counterproductive for the American economy anyway, like steel.”Tariffs on steel and aluminum could hurt other manufacturers that use those metals to make everything from aircraft to Hershey’s Kisses.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.