Entries with tag mark zuckerberg.

Tech Giants Pledge US$9 Million for School Broadband Access

Digital learning is increasingly the norm in classrooms across the US; however, many schools do not have the backbone capability that would allow classrooms to have sufficient data transmission or bandwidth. Foundations started by Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates contributed a combined $9 million to the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, a San Francisco-based nonprofit designed to address connectivity issues. The US government has a goal of ensuring 99 percent of students have high-speed Internet connections within five years. Now, about 80 percent of schools in the US have connections that are too slow or are isolated with connections prone to crashing. It costs between $30,000 to $50,000 per school to install broadband, with additional costs associated with installing fiber optics into the school. What’s driving the push? Lower cost of tablet computers and increased funding for digital learning, plus the advent of computer-based testing to meet Common Core academic standards. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told the Associated Press the challenges run much deeper than having broadband access. Roughly half of American children live in poverty and many students don't have technology at home. (The Associated Press)(Tech Crunch)

Zuckerberg Promotes Universal Internet Access

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, says Internet connectivity is a human right and announced the launch of an initiative designed to insure access. Internet.org wants inexpensive wireless services for mobile phone users worldwide. In many areas of the world, mobile phones provide the only access. Zuckerberg says the current Internet adoption rate of 9 percent/year is too slow. He also contends Internet access is an essential human right as the globe moves toward a knowledge-based economy. Internet.org purportedly has only a “rough plan,” which critics say “leaves a few major questions unanswered.” (National Geographic)(Businessweek)(“Is Connectivity a Human Right,” Zuckerberg @ Facebook)

Internet Users Raise Bounty for Palestinian Researcher

A former hacker created a crowdfunding campaign in support of a Palestinian security researcher after the man was denied a bug bounty by Facebook. Khalil Shreateh discovered a vulnerability that allows a user to post to anyone’s wall, friend or not. After his initial report was dismissed, he posted a note to Mark Zuckerberg’s wall, stating he had “no other choice.” Facebook claims there was insufficient technical detail provided by Shreateh, which did not allow them to replicate the bug and denied him the reward for finding the flaw. The campaign to remunerate Shreateh was launched by Marc Maiffret, a security researcher now with BeyondTrust, and was a teen hacker in the 1990s who infamously hacked Microsoft as well as other corporate and government websites. He says this incident highlights the importance of independent security researchers who do the right thing by contacting companies about security issues they find. To date, the GoFundMe campaign has raised US$11,000 in a single day.  Maiffret told Businessweek, “I equally hope it has reminded other researchers that while working with technology companies can sometimes be frustrating, we can never forget the greater goal; to help the internet community at large.” (AFP at The Herald Sun)(Businessweek)

Researcher Demonstrates Facebook Bug with Post to Zuckerberg

A Palestinian hacker frustrated at a non-response from Facebook in attempting to post a bug he found to the company’s White Hat program, decided to demonstrate it by hacking Mark Zuckerberg’s account. Khalil Shreateh discovered a vulnerability that allows a user to post to anyone’s wall, friend or not. After his initial report, he was told by a member of the security team that it was not a bug. He then responded by posting a note to Zuckerberg’s wall, stating he had “no other choice.” Shreateh said he was immediately contacted by Facebook security seeking details of the exploit and, just as quickly, had his Facebook account disabled. Facebook claims there was insufficient technical detail provided by Shreateh, which did not allow them to replicate the bug. "Exploiting bugs to impact real users is not acceptable behavior for a white hat," the engineer wrote, adding that researchers are allowed to create test accounts to aid their research. Although Facebook has a bug bounty program with a $500 minimum bounty, it is not paying Shreateh as his actions in attempting to report the finding violated Facebook’s Terms of Service. Facebook admits it should have asked Shreateh for more details. “We get hundreds of reports every day. Many of our best reports come from people whose English isn't great - though this can be challenging, it's something we work with just fine and we have paid out over $1 million to hundreds of reporters,” Matt Jones told reporters. “We should have pushed back asking for more details here.” The bug has been fixed. “Both Facebook and Shreateh could have handled this better,” notes Larry Seltzer on ZDNet. “I hope they find a way to get Shreateh the money because he deserves it in spite of the arrogant way he demonstrated the bug.”  (CNET)(ZDNet)(The Telegraph)(Khalil Shreateh Blog)

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