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Stories for Aug. 1, 2014
In Brief

German security researchers claim to have identified a serious vulnerability in the fundamental security of USB devices. The SR Labs team is preparing a presentation for Black Hat next week in which they will demonstrate the “BadUSB” reprogramming of the firmware in USB peripherals, such as thumb drives, keyboards and even mobile devices, to allow data theft and the hijacking and surveillance of computers to which those peripherals are attached. Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell say there are no known defences against such malware, largely due to the way USB works, and possibly even no way to clean up after infection.

Stories for Jul. 31, 2014
In Brief

foursquare expertise

It’s no secret that the new Foursquare app has eliminated check-ins. But the company still needs users to leave reviews at local joints without getting that pat-on-the-back from badges. Enter: Expertise. People will earn “expertise,” and when they write¬†tips that other users like or save, a little pink “expert” status bar will fill up. Eventually, you’ll be flagged in the reviews as an “expert” in “pizza places” or “sushi” or “dance clubs,” and the world shall know your power. Or something.