Online courses train the next generation of credit card criminals

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E-learning courses costing under $1,000 are giving aspiring cyber criminals the potential to make $12k a month, based on a standard 40-hour working week according to new research. The study from digital risk management company Digital Shadows finds the courses, available to Russian speakers only, last for six weeks and comprise 20 lectures with five expert instructors. The course includes webinars, detailed notes and course material at a cost of RUB 45,000 ($745), plus $200 for course fees. With the average Russian earning under $700 a month, it’s easy to see why the potential to earn 17 times as much… [Continue Reading]

Earth Is Choking on 8.3 Billion Metric Tons of Plastic Waste

If you think about it, plastics should be considered one of the defining technologies of the 20th century. Their flexibility, cheap manufacturing costs, and resistance to degradation has meant the use of plastics outpaced most other man-made materials. Today, many of us can’t remember a world without plastic, which went into large-scale production in the 1950s. But we’re now learning the costs of this wonder material—oceans full of indestructible micro-particles that are harming sea life and polluting waterways. We have no idea how to get rid of them.

With a study published on Wednesday in Science Advances, we know how much plastic we’ve created, and where most of it has gone. This represents the first global analysis of all the plastics ever made on the planet, and big surprise, it isn’t pretty.

As of 2015, it finds, humanity has produced over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. Of that, 6.3 billion metric tons has become waste. With just over 7 billion people on the Earth as of 2015, this would represent more than one metric ton per human being. Most plastics don’t really biodegrade, and can hang around for hundreds or thousands of years.

Only 9 percent of the 6.3 billion tons of waste was recycled

The study authors, who are based at the University of Georgia and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), as well as with the nonprofit Sea Education Association, gathered the figure after analyzing industry sources, and some were easier to find than others. “It’s basically putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. The only challenge is that you have to find the puzzle pieces first,” said lead author Roland Geyer, associate professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB.

Considering most of it has been for single-use product packaging, from CD shrinkwrap to the disposable lids on coffee cups, that means we’ve basically thrown all of it away. But wait—what about all those recycling programs?

Read More: Ocean Currents Are Carrying Our Plastic Garbage to the Arctic

Geyer and his team found that only 9 percent (!) of the 6.3 billion tons of waste was ultimately recycled. As previously reported on Motherboard, there are actually a number of surprising hurdles to plastics recycling. It can be difficult to do, and we still don’t collate and sort out our personal recycling as enthusiastically as we should.

Then there’s the fact that plastics are made from oil. Cheap and plentiful access has meant that recycling isn’t necessarily economically viable. “When the stock is cheap, which it now has been for a while, that just means that if it makes it very hard for recycled plastics to compete with virgin plastics,” said Geyer.

The majority of plastic that isn’t recycled still has to go somewhere. Geyer and his team found that we’ve managed to incinerate about 12 percent. But in the end, 79 percent of that 8.3 billion tons have either gone to landfills or, worse, out into the environment. Because of eroding landfills and poor waste management, terrestrial and marine ecosystems have accumulated microscopic plastic particles—so much that experts have started to use the build up of the material to indicate the beginning of humanity’s geological era, the Anthropocene.

The study did take a look at the production of biodegradable and bio-based plastics, but found they only amounted to about 4 metric tons.

Those results were not included in the analysis.

There’s no indication that the trend will reverse anytime soon. The researchers found that half of the total amount of plastic ever was created in the last 13 years. The pace of production continues to ramp up.

“We need big and bold approaches here. Notching up the recycling rate by a couple of percentage points is not going to cut it,” Geyer said. “My hope would be that [the study] will add a sense of urgency to the debate about how we’re going to use plastics in the future.”

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Assessing the habits and tactics of organized credit card fraud gangs

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By analyzing hundreds of criminal forums, Digital Shadows discovered a new trend in the form of remote learning ‘schools’. Available to Russian speakers only, these six-week courses comprise 20 lectures with five expert instructors. The course includes webinars, detailed notes and course material. An advertisement for the WWH online course In exchange for $745 (plus $200 for course fees), aspiring cyber criminals have the potential to make $12k a month, based on a standard 40-hour … More

There Are Only 32 Retail Gas Stations Left In Manhattan

Every day, new people arrive in New York City, and those people need housing. In response to that demand, developers in Manhattan have been busy knocking down old buildings and putting up new ones. One casualty of that real estate boom? Gas stations, which have become increasingly rare in recent years.

An Endangered Species

The New York Times noted in 2016 that the pace of development had accelerated, wiping 30 gas stations off the map since 2008. At that time, only 50 were open to the public on the island of Manhattan.

Their numbers continue to dwindle: According to data from the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, there are now only 32 retail gas stations open as of last year.

Here are the stations that were inspected by the department last year — some of those may no longer be open if they were sold before the end of 2016:

Business Name Address
10TH AVENUE PETROLEUM LLC 466 10TH AVE
117 MORNINGSIDE INC. 355 W. 124TH ST
145TH STREET AUTO CENTER INC. 150 W. 145TH ST
155TH STREET AUTO CENTER INC 3740 BROADWAY
174 UPTOWN INC 4116 BROADWAY
1ST & 96TH MANAGEMENT INC. 1855 1ST AVE
30TH STREET SERVICE STATION INC. 309 11TH AVE
ACCEDE INC. 255 E 125TH ST
ATLAS GARAGE INC. 303 W 96TH ST
BEST SERVICE STATION INC. 2157 AMSTERDAM AVE
BISMA MOBIL SERVICE STATION INC. 718 11TH AVE
BROADWAY S/S INC 4275 BROADWAY
CITY FUELS LLC 4353 BROADWAY
CITY PETRO SERVICE CENTER INC. 232 W. 145TH ST
EAST SIDE AUTO SERVICES INC. 348 E 106TH ST
EASTSIDE GASOLINE CORP 1890 PARK AVE
FIRST AVE & 117TH ST INC. 2276 1ST AVE
FUTURE SERVICE STATION INC 1599 LEXINGTON AVE
GOALS SERVICE STATION INC 3260 BROADWAY
HOUSTON SERVICE STATION LLC 21 E HOUSTON ST
INWOOD AUTO SERVICE CORP 4880 BROADWAY
JR AUTO SERVICE CORP 89 SAINT NICHOLAS PL
JTE SERVICE STATION, INC. 242 DYCKMAN ST
KALISH & KERNER PETROLEUM LLC 2420 FDR DR
NAGLE FUEL CORP 265 NAGLE AVE
RIVERDEAL OPERATING CORP. 5080 BROADWAY
SPEEDWAY LLC 401 W 207TH ST
SPEEDWAY LLC 120 W. 145TH ST
SRM FUEL CORP. 3936 10TH AVE
STATION 800 LLC 800 SAINT NICHOLAS AVE
UPTOWN SERVICE STATION CORP. 2326 1ST AVE
WEST MOBIL ON 8TH INC 63 8TH AVE

What’s There Instead?

So where have all the gas stations gone? Curbed has a great interactive map showing what each former fuel location has been turned into, from developments that mostly include apartment complexes, condominiums, shopping centers, and office buildings.

To that end, if you need a place to live, this map might be helpful in finding an apartment.

Some simply sit empty and unused, waiting to be turned into a tall glass building filled with people who probably don’t have cars. And if they do, they may have a tough time finding a gas station to fuel it up.

For more on the ghosts of gas stations in NYC, head on over to Curbed.

What The Orange Is The New Black Stars Look Like In Real Life

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Orange is the New Black is a show set in prison, so it makes sense that most of its characters wouldn’t have access to a whole lot of makeup and styling products. Even so, it’s always shocking to witness the transformation the show’s cast members undergo each season to shift from fab to drab to play their on-screen characters. Check out what the cast looks like in real life…

Taylor Schilling – Piper | 0:20

Laura Prepon – Alex | 0:45

Danielle Brooks – Taystee | 1:08

Uzo Aduba – Crazy Eyes | 1:29

Kate Mulgrew – Red | 1:50

Taryn Manning – Pennsatucky | 2:06

Lea DeLaria – Big Boo | 2:25

Dascha Polanco – Daya | 2:45

Elizabeth Rodriguez – Aleida | 3:12

Selenis Leyva – Gloria | 3:29

Natasha Lyonne – Nicky | 3:53

Laura Gomez – Blanca | 4:15

Emma Myles – Leanne | 4:43

Julie Lake – Angie | 5:07

Francesca Curran – Skinhead Helen | 5:28

Laverne Cox – Sophia | 5:56

Yael Stone – Lorna | 6:16

Adrienne Moore – Black Cindy | 6:45

Jackie Cruz – Flaca | 7:01

Jessica Pimentel – Maria | 7:27

Vicky Jeudy – Janae | 7:46

Diane Guerrero – Ramos | 8:15

Samira Wiley – Poussey | 8:38

Constance Shulman – Yoga Jones | 8:57

Nick Sandow – Joe Caputo | 9:23

Pablo Schreiber – P—stache | 9:59

Read more here → http://www.nickiswift.com/73287/orange-new-black-stars-look-like-real-life/

Celebrity Makeovers
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

Bizarre Beauty Routines Of The Rich And Famous
https://youtu.be/4Op36mxPUWY?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

The Truth Behind Mama June’s Major Weight Loss
https://youtu.be/mHCPPMTrqKU?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

Amber Rose Looks Nothing Like She Used To
https://youtu.be/mJupTvXBQJU?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

What Sophia Grace And Rosie Look Like Now
https://youtu.be/lF60cIB-RDo?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter Is All Grown Up
https://youtu.be/bpLFoN8lP8M?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

Monica Lewinsky Looks Completely Different Now
https://youtu.be/6r1U7gOHwJc?list=PLdEKZTDH6MLFjQ7UBFm0dnYFK3MITXZSi

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Nicki Swift is the top source for all the best dirt and juiciest gossip on the celebs you love…or love to hate. Want video lists of all the best celebrity secrets, reality show scandals, and stories behind the biggest Hollywood stars? Nicki has the answers. Want to know just who Nicki Swift is? There’s only one way to find out…

Take Photos of Stove Dials Before You Leave for Vacation

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Photo by Nicole Dieker.

If you’re the kind of person who spends the first ten minutes of the Lyft ride to the airport worrying that you accidentally left the oven on—even if you didn’t even use the oven that day—you can quell your anxious brain with a quick smartphone precaution.

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The 10 Household Things to Check Before You Leave for a Vacation

Leaving for a vacation is always a bit of a stressful time as you run around the house and get…

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No, I’m not referring to one of those home automation apps that’ll tell you whether your doors are locked and your heat is on—although those are pretty cool.

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I’m suggesting you go simpler: before leaving the house, take a photo of your stove and oven dials—or your thermostat, or your iron, or anything else you worry about accidentally leaving on. If your brain starts to play the “Did I really turn it off” game, you can simply tap your photo app and see for yourself.

We Worry for Good Reason

I started taking pre-vacation photos after my landlord upgraded the heating system in my apartment building and gave us all new thermostats. This was in winter, right before I left on my holiday travels, and since the thermostats were so new that I hadn’t yet become accustomed to them I spent the whole first day of the trip worrying that I had forgotten to turn the thermostat down. 

Snap a picture of your thermostat to put your mind at ease.

Not all of us are the types of people who worry about things like that, of course. But those of us who do generally worry for good reason—my current oven, for example, turns its indicator light off when it reaches its preheated temperature. This means I left the oven on more than once, assuming it was off because the none of the lights were on. Now I know to check the dials, not the lights.

We also worry about forgetting to turn things off, especially when we go on vacations, because the process of leaving for vacation is so different from our usual habits. When we leave our homes to go to work, for example, we usually follow a specific routine. We wear the same types of clothes and carry the same bags. We say “keys, wallet, phone,” tap our pockets, or check our apps to make sure we have everything we need. Then we leave our homes and lock our doors.

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Don’t Leave It! Makes Sure You Have Everything You Need Before You Leave Home or Work

iOS: It’s admittedly a little silly to need an app to remind you to grab your key or wallet before…

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When we go on vacation, the routine is different, the clothes are different, the bags are different, everything is different—and suddenly we can’t remember whether we closed the door, much less locked it.

So I started taking photos.

You Take the Photo So You Don’t Need It

I take photos before I go on long trips to give myself proof that the oven dials are in the right place and the thermostats are turned off. The funny thing is that I’ve never once wanted to look at this proof after I’ve photographed it; it also turns off the part of my brain that gets anxious about accidentally leaving something on.

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Build a Twitter-Based Home Automation System with a Raspberry Pi

There are all sorts of variations on Raspberry Pi-powered home automation systems, but ARM…

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This could be because the photo has now become part of the routine. Or it could be that the process of taking the photo is complex enough to stick in my memory—instead of giving my thermostats a quick glance, I’m pausing to frame the shot.

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The important thing is that it works. I can think about how fun the vacation’s going to be, instead of mentally retracing my steps and hoping they paused in front of the stove. Plus—as a bonus—if something happens to my apartment while I was away, I have photo proof that it wasn’t because I accidentally left the oven on or the window open.

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Learn the Limits of Your Electrical Outlets to Avoid Fires

‘Tis the season to load up your outlets with lights and decorations, and even if you…

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Worry less.

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