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Man gets 5 years in prison for global cell phone fraud scheme

first_img Post a comment The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $999 The scheme focused on making international calls for free. Getty Images A Florida judge slapped a former state resident with a 65-month prison sentence Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to charges linked to a phone cloning ring.Braulio De la Cruz Vasquez, 54, was part of a “sophisticated global cell phone fraud scheme” that stole access to people’s accounts and fraudulently opened new ones using their personal information, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.He set up a “call site” in his West Palm Beach home and used the stolen data to re-program phones he controlled, the department said. From there, De la Cruz’s co-conspirators (four of whom have already been sentenced) would make international calls via the internet and he’d route them through the cloned phones — making the people whose information had been stolen foot the bills, according to the plea agreement.He admitted that his partners sent him around 2,158 numbers owned by US phone account holders between 2011 and 2013 and that he got tens of thousands of dollars from at least one Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) company for routing international calls, the DOJ noted.De la Cruz is a citizen of the Dominican Republic and was extradited from that country to face the charges. He was charged with three counts of fraud, two related to illegal telecom device use and one for identity theft. DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Security Best Buy Comments I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. $520 at HP Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Sarah Tew/CNET Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Hacking,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $155 at Google Express See it $59 at eBay $60 at Best Buy Tags CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $299 at Amazon What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. The Cheapskate Sprint 0 $6 at Tidal See It Angela Lang/CNET $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Read Google Home Hub review Sarah Tew/CNET $999 $210 at Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET Read Lenovo Smart Clock review See It Turo See at Turocenter_img Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Sarah Tew/CNET Boost Mobile Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Chris Monroe/CNET Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Share your voice Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) See at Amazon Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) 7 $999 Read the Rylo camera preview See It Tags Share your voice Rylo Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Read the AirPods review Read DJI Osmo Action preview Apple iPhone XS Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Amazonlast_img read more

Giant anaconda crosses busy road in Brazil Watch viral video

first_imgThe giant green anaconda slithered its way across multiple lanes of a highway in Brazil. TwitterTraffic jams can turn out to be frustrating at times. We all have been in traffic jams, haven’t we? Have you ever been a part of any traffic jam for a good reason? Something similar happened in Brazil recently and we don’t know how to react.Traffic on a busy road was interrupted and forced to make an unexpected stop after people spotted a giant anaconda across the road in the northwestern state of Rondônia. In a viral video that has been doing the rounds on the internet, a huge green anaconda, at least 10-foot-long, slithered its way across multiple lanes of the highway in Porto Velho, Brazil.The beautiful creature was seen making its way with all glory and social media is going crazy over the video. As the snake crawled slowly over the road’s median divider, courageous spectators stood close by to capture an iconic moment.Beautiful animal, indeed.But till it eats you alive…Reportedly, the video of the incident was shared by Italo Nascimento Fernandes. The clip shows a mammoth snake trying to cross the road as people around it watched curiously. Many bystanders can be seen getting down from their respective cars and helping to stop other vehicles from approaching to let the reptile pass.The snake was over three-metres long and weighs around 30 kilograms, as per news reports. Biologist Flavio Terassini told a Brazilian news website that the mammal had wandered on the road in search of something to eat.last_img read more

Malta rescues 180 migrants

first_imgMalta on Monday pulled 180 migrants to safety from two boats in distress, while 49 more were stuck in limbo at sea as the weather worsened in the Mediterranean.An army patrol boat picked up 28 migrants from a dinghy some 71 nautical miles southwest of Malta before plucking another 152 people from a wooden boat to the south.The rescues followed the recovery by Malta Sunday of 69 migrants on a wooden boat which had run into trouble.Meanwhile, the UN’s refugee agency said time was “running out” for 49 people rescued by NGO boats but denied a safe port in Europe, some of whom have been stranded at sea for over a week.The NGOs — the German Sea-Eye and Dutch Sea-Watch — called for “an immediate solution for those being held hostage by European States, who are denying them a safe port”.”With the weather conditions forecast to worsen this evening, a solution must be found by the end of 2018 in order to prevent placing people’s heath at further risk,” they said in a joint statement.The German-flagged professor Albrecht Penck ship has 17 migrants from West Africa on board who were rescued on Saturday in international waters off Libya.At the same time, the Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3 has 32 migrants rescued on December 22 including three young children, three unaccompanied adolescents and four women from Nigeria, Libya and Ivory Coast.While Italy, Malta, Spain and the Netherlands have refused to accept the Sea-Watch 3 migrants, several German cities have offered to take them in.On Saturday a government spokesman said Germany would only accept some of the migrants if other European countries also agreed to do so.Last week, a newborn baby and his mother were helicoptered from a boat to Malta.”The negotiations over which country takes them in must happen only once those rescued are brought safety to land,” UNHCR special envoy Vincent Cochetel said.More than 1,300 migrants have died trying to reach Italy or Malta via the central Mediterranean since the beginning of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).The Italian interior ministry said Monday that the number of 2018 arrivals in Italy was down over 80 per cent compared with 2017 at just 23,370.The biggest number came from Tunisia, followed by Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and Nigeria.In mid-2017, departures from Libya dropped after a controversial deal between Italy and the war-torn North African country.A campaign against the NGO rescue organisations peaked in June this year with far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini’s “closed-ports” policy aimed at ending all rescue operations, including military ones.last_img read more

Houston Foster Child Death Spurs Concerns Over Placement Shortages

first_imgLaura Skelding for The Texas TribuneThe Texas Department of Family and Protective Services building in Austin.As Texas Department of Family and Protective Services officials continue investigating the death of a girl who escaped a Child Protective Services office, advocates and legislators are grappling with the worst-case scenario of the state’s shortage of homes for abused and neglected children.The girl, 15, who had been staying in a Child Protective Services office in Houston, was hit and killed by a minivan on Sunday morning, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News. Another girl, 17, was injured in the incident but released from medical care. The two had been reportedly missing from the office for more than 10 hours and were walking on the side of the road. The 17-year-old had already run away from two different CPS offices within three days before the accident.The girl’s death comes as the Legislature works to pass long-sought child welfare bills ahead of the session’s May 29 end. Advocates have decried the Houston incident as an example of how badly Texas needs to recruit more foster and adoptive families, particularly ones willing to take in older children dealing with trauma and behavioral problems. They also point to the perils of leaving caseworkers to watch unplaced children after hours with little recourse if they run away.When Department of Family and Protective Services caseworkers cannot find a foster home, an emergency shelter or residential treatment center for a child, oftentimes Texas children are forced to sleep in hotels or CPS offices until a suitable placement is found.Department spokesman Patrick Crimmins said in an emailed statement the agency is reviewing its overnight office stay policy and trying to determine what happened with the two girls in Houston.“If we need to make changes we will,” Crimmins said. “As far as the workers, we are talking to them to get a picture of exactly what was going on at that particular office. If we think discipline is appropriate that will happen but it is too early to know.”Under the Department of Family and Protective Services’ policy on taking care of children sleeping in offices, at least two adults must be on duty; children have to have three meals and at least one snack per day, with no more than four hours passing during the day between feeding times; each child must have their own sleeping space, clean sheets, towels, blankets, bedspreads, pillows and toiletries; and workers have to find a place for children to bathe if there is still no place for them to go after 24 hours. They also require “sufficient recreational activities,” including television, board games or playtime outside.“Supervising adults must remain awake, be ready to meet the needs of the child if the environment becomes unsafe, and prepared to maintain the safety of the other children,” the policy reads.Myko Gedutis, an organizer focused on child welfare issues for the Texas State Employees Union, said Sunday’s incident was a tragedy that was “bound to happen” as having kids sleeping in offices is not a good idea to begin with.“[Caseworkers] can’t lay a hand on a kid, they can’t grab them, tackle them or lock them in a room,” Gedutis said. “They’re asking employees watching these kids to do the impossible.”With the ongoing investigation, it’s unclear how effective the agency’s missing child policy was when the two girls ran away. When a child goes missing, caseworkers have to notify local police within 24 hours and then notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. From there, they request help from a special investigator from the department. Caseworkers can try to convince older children that want to leave to stay put, but they cannot do much else.The Houston incident is an example of how it takes “the worst possible event to make change happen” in the child welfare system, said Will Francis, government relations director for the National Association of Social Workers’ Texas chapter.Francis said that neither the department or the Legislature has properly addressed the lack of placements available for children or eased the burden on already overworked caseworkers working off the clock to watch children in offices.  “I worry this will empower some people to sort of push some of their own bills that they think are going to push [placements],” Francis said. “We need to put dollars into recruitment, and I think ultimately that recruitment needs to be as broad as possible. We need to think Texas-wide … we need to think about how to get everyone engaged.” Read related Tribune coverage:House State Affairs Committee members heard testimony Wednesday afternoon on House Bill 3859, which would allow faith-based organizations to exercise their “sincerely held religious beliefs” when participating as providers in Texas’ child welfare system.  Share After months of calls from advocates to take drastic measures, both chambers unanimously passed bills on Wednesday that would change how the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services cares for vulnerable children.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/04/03/houston-foster-child-death-spurs-concerns-over-placement-shortages/.Texas Tribune mission statementThe Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.center_img Texas legislators are considering sharpening religious protections for faith-based groups the state hires to place children in foster homes. Critics say that could give religious groups license to discriminate.last_img read more

Sensorequipped footballs could help refs and players

first_imgEquipped with a GPS receiver and accelerometer, a football could help refs make calls such as whether the ball was caught before it hit the ground, or if a player had possession before fumbling. Image credit: Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Citation: Sensor-equipped footballs could help refs and players (2008, December 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-12-sensor-equipped-footballs-refs-players.html Explore further Wimbledon: lawns look lovely, but time to keep off the grass After getting tired of throwing things at the TV during unfair calls, Narasimhan wondered if it would be possible to improve the accuracy of the referees’ decisions by adding sensor technology to the instant replays. She began working on a way to equip the football with a GPS receiver and an accelerometer that could help refs make calls such as whether the ball was caught before it hit the ground, or if a player had possession before fumbling. She has also designed gloves with 15 touch sensors that wirelessly transmit data to a computer. The data can show a player’s grip by sensing which parts of the glove are in contact with ball at any given time, and provide information on how an individual player throws the ball.Narasimhan hopes that the technology will be used for training referees and players, and possibly scouting. She doesn’t intend for the electronics to take any of the fun out of the game.”You’d never want to replace the human referees because they make these calls based on years of experience, and no technology can replace that,” she said. “But in addition to the instant replay, if you had a supplementary system that said this is exactly where the ball landed and where the player stopped with it, you could make these kinds of calls accurately.”Besides being used in games, the technology could be used to help coaches, for instance, when they need to replace a second-string quarterback. Potential replacements could wear the sensor-laden gloves while throwing and running, and coaches could tell how the players react in different situations. “You could have whoever you’re scouting wear these gloves and you could ask, well, does he throw the same way under the same defensive schemes or does he run the same way and make the same kind of cuts as a terrific running back does?” she said.The technology still needs improvement to be useful, though. The current prototype transmits information just once a second and is only accurate to within 30 feet. Narasimhan and her students are working on a newer prototype that can transmit information four times per second and combine data from fixed GPS receivers near the field for greater accuracy.Besides the ball and gloves, sensors could one day be added to players’ shoes to measure running stride and patterns, or in shoulder pads to calculate blocking positions and force. Narasimhan hopes to work with a college or pro team to get players’ input on what kind of information would be most helpful for improving their game.via: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Gizmodo© 2008 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — When Dr. Priya Narasimhan moved to Pittsburgh seven years ago, she fell in love with the people, the city, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although the Carnegie Mellon computer engineering professor grew up in India and Africa, she became passionate about the American sport of football, including its bad calls and referees’ human error.last_img read more