It's war: Microsoft cracks down on stupid passwords

Tech giant Microsoft is compiling a list of dumb passwords that you will be forbidden to use for online accounts, in an attempt to safeguard you from your own laziness.

Microsoft will be enforcing new, basic rules in a bid to make people create stronger passwords, saying hackers rely on users being lazy, The Age reported.

Each year Microsoft had been raising the ante, encouraging people to create longer passwords, then eventually, asking then to use a mixture of characters including numerals.

So, lazy people would often update their passwords from 'password' to 'password1' to 'password12' and so on. 

But not anymore.

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Microsoft has analysed every stolen password and ruled out the most common ones.

So, if you try to add a dumb password via OneDrive or another Microsoft account, you will now be be asked, nicely, to: "Choose a password that's harder for people to guess".

You can guarantee that that easy peasy password you tried to get through the net will already be on the dumb list.

Suspected Aussie hacker tries to crowdfund Ferrari

Accused Australian hacker Dylan Wheeler, who fled the country after being raided by the FBI, is seeking to crowdfund a $500,000 Ferrari to 'improve his health'.

Wheeler, aged just 17 when he was allegedly involved in an international hacking ring from his Perth home, was ordered by the FBI to surrender his passport, the ABC reported.

But, he left Australia for the Czech Republic in 2015, while facing a host of charges carrying a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Former Perth man Dylan Wheeler. Photo: Twitter/Perth Now

According to his crowdfunding page, Wheeler, now 20, said he needed to raise money to purchase the fast machine to help with his "anxiety".

He's raised just $175.

"I need a Ferrari because of my anxiety, my doctor has said because of the FBI and police raids I am unable to function properly without a Ferrari," he wrote on the crowdfunding page.

The international hacking ring was alleged to have hacked into the computers of the US Army, Microsoft, as well as stealing intellectual property.

Facebook uses AI to become superior search engine

Facebook is building an Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine to decipher underlying sentiment and meaning of the text posted by its users.

The social media platform announced Deep Text on Wednesday, and said in a blog post that it would assist in weeding out spam and realising content that people might be interested in.

It also had the potential to create a super powerful search engine, according to Facebook's engineering director of the machine learning team, Quartz reported.

Deep Text will allow Facebook to have a better understanding. Photo: Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg.

“We want Deep Text to be used in categorising content within Facebook to facilitate searching for it and also surfacing the right content to users,” Hussein Mehanna said.

This new project would allow Facebook to create the capacity to track every piece of information entered into the platform, like how Google trawls the web for information and indexes it.

PM pledges another $15m to Aussie startup sector  

As the election trail continues, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised a further $15 million towards growing the Australian startup sector.

The funding was part of the Federal Government's expansion of the incubator support program, with $8 million already set aside as part of its $1.1b innovation pledge made last year, StartupSmart reported.

The Coalition was previously slammed for last year's innovation pledge, with critics saying it wouldn't make enough of an impact.

The PM boosts funding for the Aussie startup sector as the election trail heats up. Photo: Twitter

During the announcement at Brisbane's startup hub, River City Labs, Mr Turnbull said the funding would go towards "increasing the number of incubators and accelerators, support existing programs and attract experts-in-residence to Australia".

“Australia’s existing network of incubators and accelerators is falling well short of meeting the current level of demand,” he said on Wednesday.


Kaitlin Thals

@ Sheda

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