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Digital maps are wonderful — until they're abused by hackers

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sam Hind, a researcher at the University of Siegen in Germany who studies navigation technology, said mapping developers have come to realize that their users collectively have better up-to-date local knowledge than their own teams can collect.“Of course, this comes with a catch — that you can rely on the veracity of the knowledge, and that you can somehow verify this,” he said.That’s an issue for business listings on Google Maps. The company makes it easy to add new business listings to its map, in part to entice small business owners into advertising with Google to attract nearby customers.But that also opens the door to abuse.Just ask Greg Psitos, a 33-year-old florist in Queens, New York.In February, someone hijacked his Google Maps listing and changed his hours to “Closed” on Valentine’s Day — what should have been one of his busiest days of the year.“Someone had controlled that listing for four years and I didn’t know any better,” Psitos said, adding that it took months to reclaim it.Since then, he’s been on a crusade to draw attention to the problem. In one stunt, he fooled Google Maps into believing his flower shop is home to both news network CNN and Trump Palace. Both of these listings were still present and searchable on Google Maps when this article was published.“I’m a florist,” Psitos said. “Now I’m a Google Maps savant.”In a Google study of the problem, Princeton postdoc researcher Danny Yuxing Huang used data on hundreds of thousands of business listings Google identified as fraudulent. A large number were for on-call contractors such as locksmiths and plumbers, who created listings in different neighborhoods to drum up business. In one technique, fraudsters would set up multiple listings from a single address, then move their map pins to new locations.Detecting such problems is a challenge, Huang said, since it makes sense to let legitimate owners correct data issues from faulty mapping. “I personally think it’s quite difficult to balance this,” he said.LATEST WORLD STORIES ...https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/02/world/digital-maps-wonderful-theyre-abused-hackers/

Why you can't always trust your map app

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Press that over the years it has reduced fraud to a very low incidence and that were always working on new and better ways to fight this type of behavior. Sam Hind, a researcher at the University of Siegen in Germany who studies navigation technology, said mapping developers have come to realize that their users collectively have better up-to-date local knowledge than their own teams can collect. Thats an issue for business listings on Google Maps. The company makes it easy to add new business listings, in part to entice small business owners into advertising with Google to attract nearby customers. That opens the door to abuse. Just ask Greg Psitos, a 33-year-old florist in Queens, New York. In February, someone hijacked his Google Maps listing and changed his hours to closed on Valentines Day – what should have been one of his busiest days of the year. Someone had controlled that listing for four years, and I didnt know any better, Psitos said, adding that it took months to reclaim it. Since then, hes been on a crusade to draw attention to the problem. In one stunt, he fooled Google Maps into believing his flower shop is home to both news network CNN and Trump Palace . Both of these listings were still present and searchable on Google Maps when this article was published. Im a florist, Psitos said. Now Im a Google Maps savant. http://www.vindy.com/news/2018/sep/30/love-that-map-app/

Gerhard König - Penn Yan Chronicle-Express (blog)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lemgo, Germany, to Hans and Sophie König. As a child, he endured the hardships of World War II and its aftermath but was determined to succeed in life. Through hard work, he received his MBA from Siegen University in Germany, then decided to pursue the “American Dream” and arrived by boat in New York City in 1965. He completed a year of postgraduate work at the University of Cincinnati and joined Corning Incorporatedin 1966. Gerhard called Keuka Lake his home and was a resident of the area for more than 40 years, his professional career also took him and his family to Durham, NC; Denver, CO; Shrewsbury, MA; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and several cities in Germany including Kaiserslautern and Munich. He enjoyed a long and fulfilling career with Corning, serving in many capacities including Regional CEO, Director, and President and CEO of several Corning business subsidiaries. Among his many professional achievements, one that he was most proud of was conceiving Corning’s entry into the stationary pollution control business and then negotiating the establishment of Cormetech Inc., a 50/50 joint equity company with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, in Durham, NC. Despite retiring from Corning in 2002, Gerhard was never one to sit idle for long—he soon went back to work and served as President of Draka Comteq EMEA, a Dutch cable manufacturer for several years. Gerhard met his wife, Lorraine Kae Loomis, while working at Corning, Inc., and the two were married on August 27, 1983. Together, they raised Karsten and Sterling and provided a home to several families of cats and a beloved Yorkshire terrier named Katie. In his later life, Gerhard enjoyed travelling and hosting his friends and family at his home in Hammondsport for dinner and lively politica...http://www.chronicle-express.com/obituaries/20161202/gerhard-knig

German energy firm RWE investigates cyber attack

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

IT specialists to look into the matter. In the meanwhile, police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have continued with their clearance operations at a highly symbolic site for activists in the Hambach. Security authorities ordered protestors on Tuesday to remove flowers and candles commemorating a 27-year-old journalist who recently fell to his death in the forest, so that a nearby treehouse could be dismantled. The Hambach forest forms part of a property owned by German energy giant RWE which comprises the world's largest open pit brown coal mine. The company plans to cut down 100 out of a remaining 200 hectares of woodland from October 2018, a development which is vehemently resisted by activists who have moved into the threatened area and built treehouses and makeshift barriers there. A member of an activist group, known as "Operation Undergrowth" told the German press agency (dpa) earlier that some forest occupiers had by now already lived in Hambach for six years. The police operation, which was temporarily stalled following the fatal accident of the journalist, is one of the largest to be recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia to date and is supported by reinforcements from other German states. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/25/c_137492052.htm

Stillness and shock in Hambach Forest after journalist dies

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hambach Forest. Despite efforts to revive him, the 27-year-old German citizen died after being flown out by helicopter. Following the accident, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister, Herbert Reul, announced that police activities in the forest would be suspended for now. "We cannot just proceed as normal at least I can't," Reul said at a press conference Wednesday night. Whether the eviction will continue is not yet known. The journalist is understood to have fallen from the bridge leading off this treehouse Read more: Hambach Forest: Battleground for climate action 'Pure sunshine' Activists and members of the public have gathered in Beechtown, one of the treehouse villages. People lay flowers on a makeshift altar, hug each other, sit on the leaf-covered forest floor and converse in whispers. Activists and citizens took time to mourn and honor the dead journalist in Hambach Forest A yellow banner hangs between two trees: "We love you and we won't forget," it reads in red letters, just a few meters from where the journalist died. Meyn had been present at the protest in the forest for months. He was working on a documentary about the occupation, he told me when I met him last week in Hambach Forest. A fellow freelance journalist with no direct assignment, but clearly strongly motivated to document what was happening on the ground. Equipped with a 360-degree camera placed on his bicycle helmet, and a big smile. To those he met, he came across as a friendly, chatty guy. Indeed, he was a friend to many activists and...https://www.dw.com/en/stillness-and-shock-in-hambach-forest-after-journalist-dies/a-45579629

Protests planned as Erdogan opens mega mosque in Cologne

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kurdish demonstrators marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist and devouring a peace dove. Mosque controversy Erdogans visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called guest workers from the 1960s. Several anti-Erdogan demos are planned in Cologne on Saturday, including one under the banner Erdogan Not Welcome. They are expected to gather a few kilometres (miles) away from the neighbourhood of the mosque. The giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand worshippers. The sheer size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional protests. The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy. The group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany, and its imams are paid by the Turkish state. Known for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some of its members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany. German media recently reported that the domestic intelligence service was considering putting Ditib under surveillance. (AFP) ...https://hawthorncaller.com/protests-planned-as-erdogan-opens-mega-mosque-in-cologne/

German City Braces For Protests as Erdogan Opens Mega Mosque

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kurdish demonstrators marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist and devouring a peace dove.Erdogan's visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called "guest workers" from the 1960s. The giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand worshippers.The size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional protests.The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy.The group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany with imams paid by the Turkish state.Known for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some of members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany. ...https://www.news18.com/news/world/german-city-braces-for-protests-as-erdogan-opens-mega-mosque-1893241.html