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Original author: 
Adrianne Jeffries

Atm_robbers_large

Defendants Elvis Rafael Rodriguez and Emir Yasser Yeje posing with approximately $40,000 with cash. Source: US Attorney, Eastern District of New York

If you’d been waiting for the ATM inside the deli at East 59th and Third in Manhattan on Tuesday, February 19th around 9:24PM, you would have been annoyed. A young man in a black beanie and puffy black jacket made seven withdrawals in a row, stuffing around $5,620 into his blue backpack. The man wasted no time. He exited the deli and headed up five blocks to repeat the process at four more ATMs, finishing his route at a Chase bank at 69th and Third at 9:55PM, where he made four withdrawals totaling $4,000.

While the man in the black beanie was beelining along the Upper East Side, seven...

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Original author: 
timothy

An anonymous reader writes "A new piece of malware propagating across Skype has been discovered that tries to convince the recipient to click on a link. What makes this particular threat different is that it drops a Bitcoin miner application to make the malware author money. While malware has both spread on Skype and mined Bitcoins before, putting the two together could be an effective new strategy."

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An anonymous reader writes "Wired is reporting on a massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. Kaspersky Lab, the company that discovered the malware, has a FAQ with more details."


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Cheek'd, Cards-1

I’ve covered a few online dating services in my day, but this one has got to be the most creative.

It’s called Cheek’d, and I’d categorize it as a place where business cards meets picking up prospective boyfriends/girlfriends/one-night stands.

Here’s how it works: you go over to the Cheek’d website, at which point you take a couple minutes to fill out a profile. The fields of personal representation are actually a bit more novel than most dating sites, asking things like where you’re most likely to be found, the most played song on your iPod, and your favorite board game. Upload a pic, and the fun really begins.

You then must order a deck of cards, which say things like “act natural, we can get awkward later”, “don’t overthink this”, and “emotionally available.” There are literally hundreds of different sayings, and there’s even a Wall Street deck with lines like “add me to your portfolio” and “all my bank accounts are Swiss.”

The cards also have a short ID code on them, with a URL for the Cheek’d website. When a suitor receives the card, the idea is that they’re so filled with curiosity that they enter the code on Cheek’d and are taken to your profile page. Cheek’d calls it online dating in reverse.

See, Cheek’d wants to take out the online part of online dating. It forces real-life interaction, even if that interaction seems a bit awkward to me.

You get the first month free, and can also get a free deck of five cards (shipping and handling not included.) Past that, you pay $9.95 for a monthly subscription (which basically means you pay $10/month to keep your profile live). Cards you still have to pay for, and decks come in various sizes with corresponding pricing.

I grilled the founders yesterday at the NY Tech Day because, upon first impression, this sounds like one of the creepiest things ever. Why would I hand someone a card that says “hi,” (yes there are cards that simply say “hi”) instead of just saying hi myself? You know, with my voice?

But they threw out some instances where I could possibly, maybe, potentially see the idea materialize into something helpful.

For example, let’s say you’re out at a crowded bar, and a girl who seems relatively attractive catches your eye. But there’s one problem: she’s surrounded by five of her closest girlfriends, and no man (or woman) has come anywhere close to scoring with any of them all evening. It’s girls’ night.

But you, being the clever, “Cheeky” man (or woman) that you are, decide to send over a drink to the hottie along with one of your Cheek’d cards. Maybe the one that says, “I couldn’t find a napkin.” By the time she gets the card and the waiter tries to point you out to her, you’re walking out the door, all mysterious-like.

I’m not saying it will work, but I won’t say with certainty that it won’t work either.

(Note: Cheek’d is offering our readers a 50 percent discount on cards if they use the promo code “TECH”.)

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We can no longer hide our secrets from the machines by writing them in books.
MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab report that they have boosted the effectiveness of a game-playing AI by enabling it to read the manual: “When the researchers augmented a machine-learning system so that it could use a player’s manual to guide the development of a game-playing strategy, its rate of victory jumped from 46 percent to 79 percent.”

What’s most amazing about this is that despite the trial and error nature of this kind of machine learning, the ability to correlate text instructions with events in the game do seem to have a significant impact on the system’s capacity to learn how to play, as the article explains: “The researchers also tested a more-sophisticated machine-learning algorithm that eschewed textual input but used additional techniques to improve its performance. Even that algorithm won only 62 percent of its games.” So, you know, RTFM is sound advice, even if you are a machine.

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