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T-Mobile’s latest family data plans are a downright bargain

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T-Mobile has a new promotion for both new and existing family subscribers, and it’s significantly cheaper than anything from the other major carriers.

The new plans provide 10GB of 4G LTE data per line, starting at $100 per month for two lines. Subscribers can add a third line—also with 10GB of its own data—for $20 more per month. For those who sign up by Labor Day, T-Mobile is giving away a fourth line at no extra charge (though taxes and fees still apply).

By comparison, Verizon charges $170 per month for two lines with 20GB of shared data, and AT&T charges $180 per month. For a plan with four lines and 40GB of shared data, Verizon and AT&T both charge $360 per month—three times the price of T-Mobile’s current promotion.

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Hacking Team’s malware uses UEFI rootkit to survive OS reinstalls

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Surveillance software maker Hacking Team has provided its government customers with the ability to infect the low-level firmware found in laptops and other computers that they wanted to spy on.

The company developed a tool that can be used to modify a computer’s UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) so that it silently reinstalls its surveillance tool even if the hard drive is wiped clean or replaced.

UEFI is a replacement for the traditional BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and is meant to standardize modern computer firmware through a reference specification. But there are multiple companies that develop UEFI firmware, and there can be significant differences between the implementations used by PC manufactures.

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Malvertising reaches record levels in June

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Malvertising campaigns have reached more users than ever before, reported security firm Invincea yesterday, with many brand-name websites affected — including CBS Sports, Yahoo and eBay in the UK, Livestrong, Perez Hilton, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.co…

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Workday bets on machine learning with new venture fund

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There’s no shortage of software vendors paying lip service to data science in this analytics-infused era, but Workday is putting its money where its mouth is.

On Tuesday, the company is announcing the launch of Workday Ventures, a new fund it will use to identify, invest in and partner with young startups that apply data-science and machine-learning in the areas of analytics, applications, security and platform technologies.

“We believe the last 10 years of enterprise software have been about migration to the cloud,” said Dan Beck, senior vice president of technology products at Workday. “We think the next 10 years is going to be about machine learning and companies making sense of data.”

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Looking for something nearby? Wi-Fi Aware could find it for you

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A new feature of Wi-Fi could help people find both each other and things nearby, without even being near a hotspot.

The group that puts the Wi-Fi badge on phones, laptops and countless other gadgets is now starting to certify products for Wi-Fi Aware, a way for apps to make their presence known to devices nearby. Because it’s peer to peer, the system works anywhere there’s more than one Wi-Fi Aware device.

For example, if two people have the same game on their phones, the game could use Wi-Fi Aware to figure out that they’re in the same room and let them play against each other. Or a device near a painting in the basement of a museum could automatically send information about the art to visitors walking by.

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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Tuesday, July 14

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As partner conference kicks off, Microsoft details Win10 launch plans and more

With Windows 10 set to roll out in just two weeks, Microsoft on Monday shed some light on the marketing support it will put behind the launch: a worldwide, year-long “upgrade your world” ad campaign. And at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference that started in Orlando, Microsoft rolled out a new analytics tool that aims to democratize access to big data using the Cortana voice interface, as well as Project Gigjam, which can pull data from multiple applications into a shared workspace.

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Mozilla blocks all Flash in Firefox after third zero-day

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Mozilla on Monday began blocking all versions of Adobe Flash Player from running automatically in its Firefox browser, reacting to news of even more zero-day vulnerabilities unearthed in a massive document cache pilfered from the Italian Hacking Te…

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Report claims Chinese chip maker bids $23B for Micron

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China’s largest state-owned computer chip design firm, Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. has offered $23 billion to buy Micron Technology, one of the largest U.S. memory makers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
If Micron accepts, the deal would be the bi…

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Wells Fargo’s mobile banking redesign includes biometrics, tracks customer insights

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Input from Wells Fargo’s commercial banking customers has been vital in steering a massive mobile banking redesign project, according to a bank executive.
“Customers are getting more sophisticated about what works” in mobile banking, said Secil Watson…

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Qualcomm joins Thread as IoT dance heats up

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A networking protocol that could be whizzing around your home’s airspace in a few years came one step closer to reality on Tuesday.

The Thread Group released its Internet of Things network specification to a membership of more than 160 companies that have rallied around the Google-backed organization since its founding about a year ago. And in a development that could lead even more vendors to adopt Thread, it announced that wireless technology powerhouse Qualcomm is now a member and on its board of directors.

With an array of different standards competing to be the main language for connected home devices, Thread is one protocol that could become a common denominator. It’s designed as a way to form secure, low-power mesh networks out of short-range links among devices like thermostats, lightbulbs and security cameras.

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