TIME Security

Hackers Release Data From Cheating Website Ashley Madison Online

The published data includes names, addresses and even credit card transactions

The group of hackers that previously stole massive amounts of user data from popular cheating website Ashley Madison appear to have carried out their threat to publish that data on the Internet, releasing almost 10 gigabytes containing numerous details about the site’s customers on Tuesday.

A total of 9.7 gigabytes of data stolen from the controversial website — which boasts the slogan “Life is short. Have an affair” — was published to the dark web (an encrypted section of the Internet that requires special software to use) and is only accessible through a Tor browser, Wired magazine reported.

The data dump reportedly includes the login details of about 32 million users — all seeking extramarital or illicit affairs — and also provides a staggering amount of information such as their names, email and street addresses, how much they have spent on the site and even what they are looking for in a potential cheating partner.

The hackers, who call themselves Impact Team, had threatened in July that they would release user data from Ashley Madison and Established Men — a sister site that connects wealthy men to “young, beautiful women” — unless Avid Life Media (ALM), the Toronto-based company that owns both sites, did not take them down immediately. While the hackers’ main objective is to expose the site’s customers for their questionable morals, they also targeted what they say are ALM’s fraudulent business practices.

While they had earlier said that the $19 fee Ashley Madison charges customers to wipe their user data clean does not actually get rid of the information completely, the post announcing Tuesday’s dump contained additional allegations.

“Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles,” the post — titled “Time’s Up!” — reads. “90-95% of the actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters.”

“We have explained the fraud, deceit and stupidity of ALM and their members,” an earlier paragraph of the Impact Team statement says. “Now everyone gets to see their data.”

Avid Life Media released a statement of its own late Tuesday, condemning the cyberattack and saying they are “actively monitoring and investigating this situation” while cooperating with law-enforcement authorities in the U.S. and Canada, where the company is headquartered.

“This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality. It is an illegal action against the individual members of AshleyMadison.com, as well as any freethinking people who choose to engage in fully lawful online activities,” the statement reads. “We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world.”

Read next: A Creepy Amount of Tinder Users Aren’t Even Single

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TIME AT&T

AT&T’s $49 Billion Acquisition of DirecTV to Get Regulatory Approval

It would be the year’s biggest media deal, report says

Step aside, Verizon and AOL.

If AT&T succeeds in its $49 billion dollar bid to acquire DirecTV, the match will be the year’s biggest media deal—an order of magnitude larger than the $4.4 billion Verizon agreed to shell out for AOL earlier this year. Even in the parallel universe where Comcast’s botched $45 billion Time Warner Cable takeover was a triumph, this deal is still bigger.

What’s more: the match—originally proposed in May 2014—seems very likely to go through. The deal is all but inked, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources.

Regulators from the Federal Communications Commissions are apparently in the midst of wrapping up their review of AT&T’s potential purchase. The company already has clearance from the Department of Justice. All that’s left is for the FCC’s five commissioners, including chairman Tom Wheeler, to formally submit their approval.

As Journal reporter Thomas Gryta notes:

The transaction will make AT&T the nation’s largest pay television provider in addition to the second biggest wireless carrier at a time when companies are trying to figure out how best to handle the massive shifts among media companies as video consumption moves online. The combination will pair AT&T’s regional U-verse pay TV business with DirecTV’s satellite operation, which is nationwide but lacks a robust broad band offering.

Previously, AT&T lost $4 billion and failed to win approval for an attempted T-Mobile takeover in 2011. This time round? Apparently things are going much more smoothly.

TIME Music

Hear an Unreleased Track by Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar That Just Got Leaked

The song was never officially released due to creative differences

Fans of Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar have every reason to rejoice as a much-hyped but never-released track the pair collaborated on back in 2012 has been leaked on the web.

The long-lost “Party Nauseous” was recorded for K-Dot’s good kid, m.A.A.d city album three years ago but it was shelved due to creative differences with the rapper’s management, writes Stereogum.

Writing on her fan site Little Monsters in 2012, Lady Gaga said she “was not willing to compromise musically to the changes his team was making to my music.”

Gaga re-purposed parts of the song for her ARTPOP tour last year but now fans can finally listen to the track in its entirety.

[Stereogum]

Caution: Track contains some profanity

MONEY Internet

Why Companies Think .sucks Web Addresses Suck

Trademark holders have until the end of May before someone else has the right to buy their .sucks domains and make them live.

TIME movies

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig Scrap Secret Project After Plans Leak Online

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell on stage to present the Best Actress - Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical award during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
Handout—2013 NBCUniversal/Getty Images In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell on stage to present the Best Actress - Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical award during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.

The Internet just spoilt it for everyone

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig won’t be making that secret Lifetime movie they didn’t tell you they were making, because someone told the Internet they were making it.

News of the under-the-radar film leaked online on Wednesday, Entertainment Weekly reports, prompting the two comics to abandon the project.

Ferrell said in a statement to EW that he was “deeply disappointed” at the leak. “Kristen and I have decided it is in the best interest for everyone to forego the project entirely, and we thank Lifetime and all the people who were ready to help us make this film,” he said.

Read more at Entertainment Weekly

TIME Addiction

It’s Really Easy for Teens to Buy E-Cigs Online

TIME.com stock photos E-Cig Electronic Cigarette Smoke
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Most popular e-cigarette sites fail to verify the age of their clients, finds a new study

Young people under age 18 can buy e-cigarettes online, even in states where it’s illegal, a new study shows.

North Carolina researchers asked 11 teens between ages 14 to 17 who didn’t smoke to try to buy e-cigarettes online from 98 of the most popular Internet vendors. The sale of e-cigarettes to minors in North Carolina is illegal—but of the 98 orders, only five were rejected based on a failed age verification. Eighteen orders failed for problems unrelated to age, like website issues. Overall, the minors made 75 successful orders.

The teens were also asked to answer the door when deliveries were made. None of the companies attempted to confirm age at delivery, and 95% of the time, the orders were just left at the teens’ doors.

The findings are concerning for any state trying to regulate youth access, the authors say. Currently, there’s no federal law forbidding the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, despite the fact that they contain nicotine, which is addictive. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed that e-cigarettes fall under their regular tobacco regulation jurisdiction, but the proposal is still not a codified law. “It may be several years before federal regulations are implemented,” the study authors write.

Some states have stepped in and banned the sale to minors within their borders. So far 41 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands forbid such transactions, or have pending legislation to do so.

But as the new study suggests, young people can easily get e-cigarettes online if they want them. “Without strictly enforced federal regulations, online e-cigarette vendors have little motivation to decrease profits by spending the time and money it takes to properly verify customers’ age and reject underage buyers,” says study author Rebecca S. Williams, public health researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

None of the vendors complied with North Carolina’s e-cigarette age-verification law. The majority of U.S. carriers, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, ban the delivery of cigarettes, only allowing the delivery of tobacco products from a licensed dealer or distributor to another licensed dealer or distributor. If these rules were extended to e-cigarettes, the study authors argue it would essentially shut down a major loophole in access.

Getting proposed rules like the FDA’s passed takes time, but when it comes to the safety of children, the researchers argue there needs to be more urgency. Prior data has shown that from 2011 to 2013, the number of young Americans who used e-cigarettes but not conventional cigarettes more than tripled, from 79,000 to over 263,000. The study authors conclude that the ease with which teens can get e-cigarettes online—in a state that forbids the practice—stresses the need for more regulation, and fast.

TIME Super Bowl

How to Watch the Super Bowl Online for Free

Super Bowl
Jonathan Ferrey—Getty Images Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks takes the field for the 2014 NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

Cord-cutters rejoice

In years past, trying to watch the Super Bowl online might have left you feeling deflated. But this year the cord-cutters among us have lots of solid options for streaming the big game.

Let’s take a look at your two best choices:

1. NBC’s livestream. Super Bowl broadcaster NBC is offering up a free livestream of Sunday’s game that starts well ahead of the 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff. And unlike lots of other TV streaming solutions, you won’t have to prove you’re a cable subscriber to tune in.

NBC is airing pre- and post-game coverage, the game itself and Katy Perry’s halftime show on desktop and tablets to promote its new TV everywhere plan. Desktop users can catch NBC’s Super Bowl coverage starting at noon ET Sunday on NBC.com; tablet users should download the NBC Sports Live Extra app for iOS or Android.

2. Via Verizon Wireless. NBC’s free stream won’t work on your phone because of an exclusive deal between the NFL and Verizon. If you happen to be a Verizon customer, you can stream the Super Bowl on your phone for free if you’ve got a More Everything plan; other Verizon customers will have to shell out $5 for the privilege. Either way, Verizon subscribers can use the NFL Mobile app for iOS or Android to catch the action.

So that’s it! Enjoy the Super Bowl, and remember that if you’re streaming the game on your computer, there are lots of good ways to beam it over to your big-screen TV.

TIME China

Agent Carter, Empire Gone From Chinese Streaming Sites

Kelsey McNeal/ABC Atwell as Peggy Carter in Agent Carter.

A crackdown on foreign media appears to have taken its toll

More U.S. television shows were removed from Chinese streaming services in what appears to be the latest consequences of the state censor’s crackdown on foreign series.

Shows like Agent Carter, Empire, and Shameless disappeared from multiple streaming portals this week, the L.A. Times reports.

Amid a campaign by the government of President Xi Jinping to sanitize the Internet in China, the country’s state censor, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said last year that foreign shows — which have soared in popularity in China — would require government approval for the entire series before episodes aired online. Foreign series, the regulator also said, could only account for one third of programming on the online streaming sites, according to the Times.

Since then, shows like The Big Bang Theory have been pulled from streaming sites, typically without explanation.

Despite the rancor on social media after the latest purge, it remained unclear why the specific shows were removed, according to the Times.

[LA Times]

TIME movies

Here’s Where You Can Watch Oscar-Nominated Movies Online

See 'Boyhood' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' from the comfort of your own home

Following the revelation of the 2015 Oscar nominations Thursday morning, the race has begun to see the nominated films before the Feb. 22 Academy Awards broadcast.

Although many films including Birdman and American Sniper are only available on the big screen, some Academy-favorites are available to watch online. Here’s an alphabetical list of every Oscar-nominated movie you can watch from the comfort of your own home:

Begin Again: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Original Song (Lost Stars)

The Boxtrolls: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Animated Feature

Boyhood: Amazon, iTunes
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Ethan Hawke), Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Visual Effects

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1: Amazon, HBO
Nomination: Best Documentary Short

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Visual Effects

Finding Vivian Maier: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Documentary Feature

Gone Girl: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Actress (Rosamund Pike)

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Amazon, iTunes
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design

Guardians of the Galaxy: Amazon, iTunes
Nominations: Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Animated Feature

Ida: Amazon, iTunes, Netflix
Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film

The LEGO Movie: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Original Song (Everything is Awesome)

The Judge: Amazon, iTunes
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)

Last Days in Vietnam: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Documentary Feature

Maleficent: Amazon, iTunes
Nominations: Best Costume Design

Virunga: Netflix
Nomination: Best Documentary Feature

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Amazon, iTunes
Nomination: Best Visual Effects

Read next: This is the Full List of Oscar Nominations

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TIME Research

What Your Online Persona Says About Who You Really Are

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Getty Images

Does who you are online match who you are in real life? A new study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that avatars, the little icons you can customize in video games and Internet forums, are pretty good depictions of the people who created them.

Since more and more people meet and develop friendships and relationships online, researchers at York University in Toronto looked into whether the impressions people get from avatars, like the kind you use on Nintendo Wii and World of Warcraft, are true reflections of the real-life players they’re interacting with. To measure this, the researchers had about 1oo people create an avatar representation of themselves, and then asked nearly 200 others to rate the avatars on openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The results show that traits like being outgoing or anxious are pretty easy to assess, but other traits like conscientiousness and openness to new experiences are more difficult. People with agreeable traits were better able to get their personalities across through their avatars than narcissists.

Katrina FongExample of avatars used in the study

Specific physical traits of the online characters helped translate personalities more than others. Smiles, brown hair, sweaters and open eyes were more likely to come across as friendly and inviting, compared to avatars with neutral expressions or those that didn’t smile. Avatars with black hair, a hat, short hair or sunglasses were less likely to come across as friendly or desiring friendship.

Interestingly, the people in the study didn’t seem to apply usual gender stereotypes to the avatars, though avatars made by females were rated as more open and contentious over all. The researchers speculate that perhaps the digital realm has gender stereotypes that differ from the ones we more commonly experience offline.

“The findings from this study suggest that we can use virtual proxies such as avatars to accurately infer personality information about others,” the study authors conclude. “The impressions we make on others online may have an important impact on our real life, such as who becomes intrigued by the possibility of our friendship.”

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