Ex-Microsoft worker charged with mail fraud in alleged scheme to steal $10M in gift cards

(GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy) A former Microsoft worker has been arrested and charged with mail fraud, in an alleged scheme to steal $10 million worth of digital currency from his ex-employer and use the funds to finance extravagant purchases, including a Tesla and lakefront home. Volodymyr Kvashuk, a 25-year-old software developer and Ukrainian citizen who worked for Microsoft from 2016 to 2018, allegedly took advantage of a testing program meant to simulate customer purchases. He made test accounts to obtain Microsoft gift cards and then sold some or all of them through online resellers. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kvashuk allegedly used a “bitcoin mixing… Read More

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Microsoft unveils ElectionGuard to shore up voting systems across the country

Microsoft demos ElectionGuard at the Aspen Security Forum. (Microsoft Photo) Microsoft debuted a new set of technology tools Wednesday as part of the company’s initiative to make elections safer. The open-source ElectionGuard Software Development Kit aims to secure election results and make systems more transparent for campaigns and voters. The company demoed ElectionGuard for the first time the Aspen Security Forum. Voters who cast their ballots at a polling center that uses ElectionGuard will receive a tracking code that allows them to go online and verify that their vote was counted and not altered. The system is designed to supplement paper ballots, rather than replace them. Voters receive a printed… Read More

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New legislation aims to prepare American infrastructure for Internet of Things explosion

Rep. Suzan DelBene discusses smart cities and privacy at the GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Forecasts predict that the average family of four will have 50 devices connected to the internet by 2022. That’s up from 10 so-called “Internet of Things” devices in 2015. U.S. lawmakers are worried our infrastructure isn’t ready for that shift, which could be accelerated by 5G, the next generation of wireless technology. Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Washington and former Microsoft executive, has introduced legislation to prepare for the spike in internet-connected devices. She and Rep. John Kakto of New York introduced the “Internet of Things (IoT) Readiness Act” this week. Wireless… Read More

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NASA’s target for the first launch of its SLS moon rocket shifts from 2020 to 2021

NASA engineers load a test article for the SLS liquid-oxygen tank into its test stand at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. (NASA Photo) NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told lawmakers today that the first launch of the heavy-lift Space Launch System was “definitely achievable by 2021,” seemingly signaling a shift in the plan for a 2020 maiden launch. Bridenstine’s testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation came just a day after he wrote in a blog post that NASA was “staying on schedule for flying the Artemis 1 mission with our Orion spacecraft on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket next year, and for sending the first… Read More

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The Roland R07 is a versatile portable recorder with handy Bluetooth skills

There is no shortage of portable recorders on the market, but the Roland R07 caught my eye with its unique looks. Add to that the fact that it’s one of the only such recorders with Bluetooth, and it makes for a compelling package that stands out in the market. At $199, It’s somewhat of a midrange recorder – not as expensive as the flagship Zooms and Tascams of the word, but able to provide a more-than-obvious improvement over what you can capture on your smartphone. First, some key specs and features: 2 track recording and 2 track playback 24bit/96KHz recording… This story continues at The Next Web …read more Source::… Read More

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BMW ReachNow car-sharing service shuts down in Seattle and Portland following joint venture deal

BMW’s ReachNow will shut down today. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) Peace out, ReachNow. BMW’s car-sharing service abruptly ceased operation Wednesday, ending a mobility program that included 1,000 free-floating vehicles used by more than 100,000 members across Seattle and Portland. A spokesperson confirmed that ReachNow offices in those two cities will close in the next few months. ReachNow has 75 employees and contractors. The decision was made in light of a joint venture created earlier this year by Daimler and BMW designed in part to help the automakers compete more aggressively with sharing economy companies such as Uber, Lyft and Lime. The deal brought together a variety of mobility businesses,… Read More

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