Disgraced IT worker stole confidential Expedia e-mails even after he left

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A former IT specialist at Expedia has admitted he used his privileged position to access executives’ e-mails in an insider stock-trading scheme that netted almost $330,000 in illegal profits, prosecutors said.

During the two-year span that Jonathan Ly, 28, of San Francisco, worked at the online travel service, he accessed e-mail accounts belonging to the company’s chief financial officer, head of investor relations, and other high-ranking employees, prosecutors with the US attorney’s office in Seattle alleged in a criminal complaint filed late last week. The correspondence included upcoming earnings reports, a draft of an upcoming press release announcing Justice Department approval of Expedia’s acquisition of competitor Orbitz, and other stock-moving developments that weren’t yet public. Ly used the information to buy Expedia stock at a low price and then sell it after the disclosures went public at a much higher price.

“Beginning in 2013,

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Americans’ life expectancy dips as middle-aged see uptick in death rates

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For the first time since 1993, the life expectancy of Americans declined in 2015, dropping from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 years, according to newly released government data. The death rate rose by 1.2 percent.

The single-year decline in life expectancy does not a trend make—it could just be a blip—but the breakdown of the data indicates trouble for middle-aged white people and black men, possibly linked to nationwide trends in obesity and opioid abuse, plus socioeconomic conditions.

That speculation is backed up by research from last year, which found rises in the death rate of middle-aged whites due in part to spikes in suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol poisoning. At the time, researchers speculated that a blend of health problems, poor healthcare, and despair over unemployment and the financial crisis could be driving up deaths.

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Lucky find offers our first look at a dinosaur tail, complete with feathers

Geoscientist Lida Xing was shopping at an amber market in Myitkyina, Myanmar in 2015 when he saw an unusual piece of amber. Trapped inside was a small object that the amber merchants thought was a sprig of leaves. But Xing thought something much more interesting was going on, so he decided to take a closer look. What he found could change our understanding of how feathers evolved.

Xing had discovered eight fully preserved vertebrae from a young, non-avian dinosaur called a coelurosaur. As an adult it would have been about the size of an ostrich, but this juvenile was still tiny enough to get trapped in tree sap and never escape. Feathers covered its tail, but at the tip they fluffed out in a pattern that suggested this animal may have had a fan-shaped tail. After Xing convinced the Dexu Institute of Paleontology to buy the amber, he and an international

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Apple CEO Tim Cook delivering MIT commencement speech in June

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        Apple CEO Tim Cook has agreed to deliver the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's 2017 commencement address to graduates of the class of 2017 on Friday, June 9.     

AT&T customers get $88 million in credits and refunds for illegal charges

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Current and former AT&T customers will get refunds or bill credits totaling $88 million within the next 75 days, satisfying the terms of a settlement between AT&T and the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC announced today. The AT&T customers were victimized by “mobile cramming,” charges for third-party services that were placed on their phone bills without the customers’ authorization.

AT&T agreed to pay for the refunds and credits in a settlement announced in October 2014, and it agreed to notify current customers about the process for applying for refunds. The process, which was led by a third-party contractor that validated each customers’ claim, is finally just about over. Some of the money was also recovered from Tatto and Acquinity, two companies that were allegedly behind cramming schemes that affected AT&T customers.

Customers were allowed to apply for refunds for any unauthorized third-party charges that occurred in 2009 and later.

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Adobe Lightroom updated for iOS, macOS; brings one-handed editing to iPhone

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        Adobe has issued an update to the macOS and iOS versions of Lightroom, adding one-handed editing features for the iPhone, with similar changes coming to the Mac and iPad in a later revision.      

Maker of Internet of Things-connected vibrator will settle privacy suit

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A few months back, we reported on the collision of the Internet of Things and sex toys. The maker of an Internet-connected, remote-controlled vibrator was sued in federal court for being a little too connected to its users: the company tracked various app settings such as vibration level and “temperature” without customer consent.

Standard Innovation, the company behind the We-Vibe vibrator, was extremely apologetic at the time. It also noted that no customer data was compromised and said that it was updating its privacy policy. But now, the company has “agreed” to settle the proposed class-action lawsuit (PDF).

According to Illinois federal court documents (PDF), the anonymous plaintiff—identified as “N.P.”—and the company have mediated their dispute. They have “executed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) regarding agreed terms for settlement of Plaintiff’s claims on behalf of herself and a putative settlement class.” A hearing

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