KMSAuto Net 1.3.5

KMSAuto Net 1.3.5
KMSAuto Net 1.3.5 merupakan sebuah tools activator yang berguna untuk melakukan aktivasi pada produk-produk microsoft, seperti Windows dan Microsoft Office. Untuk kamu yang suka install ulang windows bajakan, pasti akan memerlukan tools ini. Sekilas, fungsinya memang sama dengan KMS Auto Lite dan juga KMSPico, namun usut punya usut, KMSAutoo Net 1.3.5 ini bisa kamu gunakan untuk aktivasi dan dapat di-update serta permanen (tidak expired).

Screenshot :

KMSAuto Net 1.3.5

Download :
Note : Pilih salah satu link saja.

How To Download

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BACA JUGA: Cara Mendapatkan Dollar dari Yroo!

Semoga Bermanfaat. :)

Besiege v0.10

Besiege v0.10 merupakan salah satu games yang bisa dibilang baru tepatnya rilis pada bulan Januari 2015 kemarin. Besiege v0.10 dapat anda mainkan di PC dengan membelinya di Steam. Versi pertama Besiege dibulai dari versi Alpha v0.01 hingga yang sekarang telah mencapai versi v0.10 (July 2015). Besiege v0.10 terbilang salah satu games yang sukses dipasaran karena gameplay dan grafisnya cukup apik.

Dalam Besiege v0.10 anda akan diberi keleluasaan dalam berimajinasi untuk membuat sebuah kendaraan atau senjata yang digunakan untuk menghancurkan sebuah desa hingga sebuah istana. Jika anda tahu game Bad Piggis atau Angry Birds, ya seperti itulah namun Besiege v0.10 lahir dalam bentuk 3 dimensi dan merupakan penggabungkan dari dua game tadi. Jadi selain anda merakit senjata sesuai imajinasi anda, anda juga harus memastikan senjata yang anda rakit dapat menghancurkan desa atau istana sesuai misi atau level tertentu. Tertarik?

Screenshot :

Jika anda kurang tertarik atau puas dengan screenshot diatas, anda bisa search di google dengan keyword 'Besiege Screenshot'.

Download (Cracked) :
Cara Install :
  1. Download Besiege v0.10
  2. Ekstrak dengan menggunakan WinRAR atau WinZip
  3. Masukkan password
  4. Jalankan 'Besiege.exe'
  5. Enjoy
Minimum System Requirements :
  • OS: Windows XP (latest SP)
  • Processor: 2.2Ghz Dual Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512mb Dedicated VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Tested : Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit

Semoga Bermanfaat

Besiege v0.10

Besiege v0.10 merupakan salah satu games yang bisa dibilang baru tepatnya rilis pada bulan Januari 2015 kemarin. Besiege v0.10 dapat anda mainkan di PC dengan membelinya di Steam. Versi pertama Besiege dibulai dari versi Alpha v0.01 hingga yang sekarang telah mencapai versi v0.10 (July 2015). Besiege v0.10 terbilang salah satu games yang sukses dipasaran karena gameplay dan grafisnya cukup apik.

Dalam Besiege v0.10 anda akan diberi keleluasaan dalam berimajinasi untuk membuat sebuah kendaraan atau senjata yang digunakan untuk menghancurkan sebuah desa hingga sebuah istana. Jika anda tahu game Bad Piggis atau Angry Birds, ya seperti itulah namun Besiege v0.10 lahir dalam bentuk 3 dimensi dan merupakan penggabungkan dari dua game tadi. Jadi selain anda merakit senjata sesuai imajinasi anda, anda juga harus memastikan senjata yang anda rakit dapat menghancurkan desa atau istana sesuai misi atau level tertentu. Tertarik?

Screenshot :

Jika anda kurang tertarik atau puas dengan screenshot diatas, anda bisa search di google dengan keyword 'Besiege Screenshot'.

Download (Cracked) :
Cara Install :
  1. Download Besiege v0.10
  2. Ekstrak dengan menggunakan WinRAR atau WinZip
  3. Masukkan password
  4. Jalankan 'Besiege.exe'
  5. Enjoy
Minimum System Requirements :
  • OS: Windows XP (latest SP)
  • Processor: 2.2Ghz Dual Core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512mb Dedicated VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Tested : Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit

Semoga Bermanfaat

Twitter Product Executives Are Leaving In A Hurry

Interim Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said his product team’s shortcomings are “unacceptable.” Now, they’re walking out the door.

Jack Dorsey is experiencing his first wave of executive departures since returning to Twitter as interim CEO earlier this month.

Dorsey lost three top product execs this week. On Tuesday, right after the company's earnings results were announced, news broke that Director of Product Management Todd Jackson and Head of Growth Christian Oestlien were on the way out.

And then, on Friday, Twitter confirmed to Re/Code that Trevor O'Brien, the product lead in charge of the company's apps, is also leaving.

The departures could be little shakers that amount to nothing, or tremors foreshadowing a larger tectonic shift.

Dorsey hasn't hid his dissatisfaction with Twitter's product efforts. He's also made clear that he's willing to rethink the social media platform's fundamentals in order to grow the service.

"Product initiatives we'd mentioned in previous earnings calls, like Instant Timelines and Logged-Out experiences, have not yet had meaningful impact on growing our audience or participation," Dorsey said during the earnings call earlier this week. "This is unacceptable and we're not happy about it."

Both Oestlien and Jackson are headed to new jobs — Oestlien to YouTube and Jackson to Dropbox. There's no word yet on what O'Brien's plans are.

The moves didn't happen overnight, but the wheels begin turning during times of uncertainty: That head hunter you turned down a few times all of a sudden gets a few minutes. One conversation turns into another. And then it's decision time.

As Dorsey sets out to remake the company, he's losing a fair deal of institutional knowledge. But for someone who's said, "I want us to question everything to make it better," that may not be a bad thing.

Famous Silicon Valley Matchmaker's Charity Is Not Actually A Charity

Instead of charging a fee, Pari Livermore asks clients to send donations to her pet charities. Problem is, one of them was not a charity at all and donations went straight to her home address.

Pari Livermore at her home in San Rafael, California, on Oct. 30, 2007.

Darcy Padilla/The New York Times

Pari Livermore, a matchmaker to many Silicon Valley elites, has become famous for the unconventional bargain she strikes with her clients: Instead of paying her directly for her services, they instead donate to her chosen charities. Glowing profiles in the New York Times and GQ, among others, have attested to the thousands of singles who paid to attend her "Red & White" parties and to private clients who paid $10,000 a year or more for her services. She often says her introductions have led to hundreds of marriages.

Over the years, Livermore has championed a variety of charities, but at least since 2007 she has directed some clients to support an organization called Spotlight on Heroes, which she described as a charity helping underserved kids in Northern California and other causes.

But BuzzFeed News has found that Spotlight on Heroes is not in fact a charity.

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Which Celebrity Is Young Twitter CRO Adam Bain?

You be the judge…

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Mark Zuckerberg Announces Pregnancy With First Child And Opens Up About Past Miscarriages

“We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt.”

"Priscilla and I have some exciting news: we're expecting a baby girl!" Zuckerberg writes.

View Video ›

The 31-year-old Facebook founder and 30-year-old doctor have been married since 2012. The pregnancy marks a new chapter in the couples' lives, as they prepare to "make the world a better place for [their] child and the next generation."

Zuckerberg continues the announcement by sharing that this pregnancy marks the end of a difficult struggle with miscarriages over the past few years.

Zuckerberg continues the announcement by sharing that this pregnancy marks the end of a difficult struggle with miscarriages over the past few years.

"We've been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way," Zuckerberg writes. He goes on to explain how isolating and lonely the experience was for him and his wife.

"You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child," he writes. "You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience."

Mark Zuckerberg / Via

"Most people don't discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you [...] So you struggle on your own. [But] When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened — that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all."

"In today's open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn't distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope [...] We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well," Zuckerberg writes.

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The Congressional Black Caucus Presses Tech Companies On Diversity

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus will meet with executives of Apple, Google and Intel to encourage greater inclusion in the tech sector.

Chair G.K. Butterfield and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Five years from now will the workplaces of Silicon Valley's leading tech companies remain as overwhelmingly white as they are today? The Congressional Black Caucus hopes not.

Lawmakers from the CBC's diversity task force, Reps. Barbara Lee, Hakeem Jeffries and G. K. Butterfield, the Chair of the Caucus, will meet with top brass of several major tech firms next week, in a push to increase representation of African Americans. Apple, Google, Intel, and Pandora are among the firms hosting the CBC delegation. The trip is part of the Caucus' Tech 2020 initiative, a five-year plan to address the dearth of black employees within the tech world.

"Increasing the representation of African Americans in the tech sector is a moral and economic imperative," Rep. Lee told BuzzFeed News. "When you have a diverse and inclusive workforce and leadership, new doors for growth and opportunity are opened."

A central goal of the Congressional Black Caucus is getting tech companies to develop and publish their plans to increase diversity. These inclusion plans, the Caucus says, should define short and long term benchmarks and capture both engineering and non-technical jobs. That many of the Valley's heavyweights have made a recent habit of releasing their diversity numbers has sparked real optimism within the Caucus, a group eager to partner with the private sector to grapple with enduring racial bias.

"I don't believe that the technology and innovation-economy companies are reluctant to diversify their workforce," Rep. Jeffries told BuzzFeed News. "Quite the contrary, there is a refreshing acknowledgement of the problem, and a commitment amongst many to do everything possible to remedy it."

For the CBC, the pledges of transparency and improvement coming from tech companies is an encouraging first step. Solid plans come next. "This trip will help develop concrete steps that we could collectively take to ensure that the diversity problem is addressed in a meaningful fashion," Jeffries said.

A major focus of the CBC's Tech 2020 initiative, Lee and Jeffries said, is strengthening the pipeline of qualified talent. Not only does this include exposing middle and high school-aged students to the STEM disciplines, but also connecting talented women and people of color with tech companies that have narrow, monochromatic professional networks.

Juanita Leveroni, diversity account manager at CODE2040, a nonprofit that promotes greater representation of black and Latino technologists, says she wants to expand the discussion of the pipeline problem to encompass how tech companies recruit and hire. "We can broaden the pipeline, but if we are not doing anything to change the funnel — the vetting process, the interview process, company culture, company leadership, then we are essentially just getting different people to the same result," she told BuzzFeed News.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Pandora expressed excitement for the upcoming visit, while also using a phrase common among tech companies earnestly describing their efforts to improve diversity. "We have work that we need to do, and the CBC will certainly add an important voice in this conversation." Pandora's diversity numbers published last August showed a near 50/50 gender split of its overall workforce.

Intel, another company hosting the lawmakers, has pledged by 2020 to shape its workforce to match the available talent pool of minorities. The company told BuzzFeed News that their diversity programs are aligned with the CBC's goals.

"I look forward to working with the tech executives to find new and innovative ways of advancing our goal of greater inclusion for African Americans in the tech sector," Lee said. "Our goal is to make this a cooperative effort."

Here's What Apple Is Worth In Terms We Can Actually Understand

Explain it to me like I’m not in tech.

That's 16 trillion calories.

Starbucks / Michelle Rial / BuzzFeed

*Kind of makes sense to get a package at that point?

Michelle Rial / BuzzFeed

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A New App Lets Uber Drivers Report Fare Discrepancies

SquaredFare, an app independent of Uber, keeps track of rides to make sure Uber pays drivers the right amount.

When it comes to interacting with Uber, its drivers have only two options: email support or physically go into the nearest office. Neither of which is easy for someone who spends all day driving to wherever their next passenger will take them. If, say, there is a problem with the fare Uber calculated, how does a driver know — much less quickly report it to Uber?

Now, drivers have a fast, efficient means to rectify a fare discrepancy. SquaredFare, an app created by president of the California App-Based Drivers Association Joseph DeWolf, works alongside and yet independently of the Uber app to keep track of all your fares in order to ensure they are accurate. (This app, DeWolf told BuzzFeed News, is not affiliated with CADA.)

"Another thing the app does is it allows the driver to report rider issues in a very efficient way," DeWolf told BuzzFeed News. "If there was an unsupervised child in the car, drivers can immediately send Uber a pre-scripted email explaining exactly what's happening. Drivers don't have a lot of time to stop their cars and type out emails so we have tried to make it as simple as possible to report fare issues and rider issues and get back on the road."

And even if there is nothing to report, SquaredFare keeps a record of all of a driver's rides and fares in case a driver's account is deactivated or deleted for any reason. The logistics of the app is much like that of Uber: A driver will start and stop the trip and the GPS-activated algorithm will input the time, distance, and local base fare and any applicable surge pricing into Uber's formula to determine how much that trip costs. SquaredFare, however, is not integrated with Uber's open API, which prevents the app from starting and stopping a trip automatically when the driver does so in the Uber app. In other words drivers have to start and stop the trips in SquaredFare themselves. But DeWolf said there was good reason for that choice.

"We did not use their API because number one we didn't want them to access what we're doing," DeWolf said. "It's just a trust issue, but also if we were using their API any network error that was happening in the Uber app would happen to us too. Our calculation would be shorted if Uber's was."

Though DeWolf initially feared a backlash from Uber he provided emails to BuzzFeed News showing that Uber's customer service has responded well to the pre-scripted requests to change a fare. After listing the pick up and drop off locations the pre-scripted email reads:

Please be advised that Uber undercharged the rider.

My calculation shows my mileage at 4.43 Miles, and the trip duration was hours:0, mins:13, secs:55. The fare breakdown was a base fare of $5.00. Mile charges were $10.41. Time charges were $5.57. Toll charges were $5.00. The safe rides fee was $1.00. The surge was 1.00 x.

According to my calculation, that the fare should have been $26.98. The Uber fare was shown on my phone was $26.39.

And after requesting some more information, Uber responded:

Happy to adjust this trip for you, Mohsen.

The fare has been adjusted to the correct amount of $26.98 to reflect the pickup and drop-off locations you provided.

Please continue to let us know about any trips that may need adjustment within 48 hours so that we may charge the rider and adjust appropriately.

As of right now, SquaredFare is only available in Los Angeles and San Francisco and cannot be used to report Lyft fare discrepancies. It is free to download and use for now, but DeWolf says all that will change as the company grows. "When we come up with the second version that we're already working on we'll ask for a subscription from the drivers," he said. "Some of our drivers are saving up to $70 a month on just fare adjustments and they have said to us for this particular service they'd be willing to pay up to $10 a month for this."

As for why DeWolf and his team chose not to build an app that reports discrepancies to Lyft, he said: "The vast majority of the complaints were regarding the Uber network and we saw fewer complaints about Lyft. We decided that there was a definite need for Uber riders but not so much for Lyft drivers. But certainly if they reach out to us we can build one for Lyft."

A pre-scripted email an Uber driver sent through SquaredFare

A pre-scripted email an Uber driver sent through SquaredFare

BuzzFeed News

Uber's response:

Uber's response:

BuzzFeed News

View Entire List ›

Farming Simulator 15 Final PC

Farming Simulator 15 Final PC adalah salah satu game simulator yang sangat wajib anda coba, dengan graphic yang sangat bagus, mulai dari area sampai alat-alat/mesin2 yang memiliki detail gambar yang baik, hal ini juga tidak luput dari digunakannnya engine baru pada proses pembuatan farming simulator 2015, okelah bagi yang sudah tidak sabar untuk mencobanya silakan langsung saja menuju link download.


Cara Install:
  • Download semua part kemudian extract
  • Install seperti biasa (ikuti instruksi yang ada pada saat installasi)
  • Enjooy
Jika ada pertanyaan/request, hubungi saya di  Twitter
Anda ingin MENGHASILKAN UANG DARI ANDROID?  Cek Disini Yah Cara Download dari Klik Disini 

Yamicsoft Windows 10 Manager v1.0.0

Yamicsoft sebagai salah satu developer software ternyata sudah meluncurkan versi terbarunya yaitu Yamicsoft Windows 10 Manager v1.0.0. Seperti namanya, Yamicsoft Windows 10 Manager v1.0.0 merupakan sebuah software utilities yang dirancang untuk pengguna Windows 10. Dengan Yamicsoft Windows 10 Manager v1.0.0 ini anda dapat melakukan berbagai macam tweak untuk mengoptimalkan Windows 10 anda bahkan terdapat fitur repair untuk memperbaiki Windows 10 anda. Silahkan bagi yang ingin mencoba.

Screenshot :

Download (include Patch) :
Features and Benefits of Windows 10 Manager (from Official Site)
  • Information
    Get detailed system and all hardware information on your system; help you find out the installation key of Windows, Office products; show all detailed information of running processes and threads on your machine; Windows 10 Manager offers 1-clicking Cleaner cleans your system automatically; Repair Center helps you to fix various system problems.
  • Optimizer
    Tweak your system to improve windows startup and shutdown speed, tweak your hardware to increase system speed and performance; Control what is started on Windows startup, check and repair the advanced starup items to restore the malicious change by viruses; Tune up and optimize system services and Task Schedule, turn off smartly some unnecessary system services and tasks to improve system performance.
  • Cleaner
    Find out which files or folders engross your disk space and shown with chart; Smart Uninstaller can fully delete programs from your system without residual files and Registry entries; Find and clean junk files to increase Hard Disk space; Duplicate Files Finder can scan your computer for files with the same size, name and modification time; Registry Cleaner checks and repair incorrectly linked Registry entries; Registry Defrag rebuilds and re-indexes your Registry to reduce registry access time and therefore improve application responsiveness; Desktop Cleaner can clean useless icons and files on Desktop easily.
  • Customization
    Customize the look of your system by tweaking system Explorer, Desktop, Start Menu, Taskbar and notification area; Manage the pinned items and can pin any files or folders to Taskbar and Start Screen; Create the quick startup items on Taskbar with the Jump List launcher; Tune up Windows 10 boot menu; Edit context menus of mouse Right-Clicking; Edit easily the Win + X menu that shown when right-click on Desktop bottom-left corner or Win + X keyboard shortcut ; Create the shortcut that executed quick on run dialog box. Visual Customizer can change system and file type icons, change the lock screen image automatically.
  • Security
    Improve system security by tweaking system components, UAC and login settings; Tune up System Restore options; Hide and restrict to access drives and programs; Encrypt/decrypt files, move system folders to safe locations; Undelete the files that accidentally deleted or formatted on disk; Privacy Protector can maintain your personal privacy by eliminating the tracks that you leave behind; Hide, add or delete the Control Panel entries.
  • Network
    Optimize your Internet connection speed, manage all shares items; Tweak the Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer easily; IP Switcher can switch your IP address easily on different networks; Edits the Hosts file to speed up surfing internet and permit only to access the specified Hosts.
  • Misc. Utilities
    Show the collection of Windows utilities and pin system items to Start Screen and Taskbar; split and merge any files; Automatically back up files regularly using Super Copy. Registry Tools help you to operate Registry easily.
Tested : Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit

Semoga Bermanfaat

DriverPack Solution 15.4.12 DVD Version

DriverPack Solution 15.4.12 - versi yang satu ini berbeda dengan DriverPack yang biasanya, seperti yang kita ketahui bahwa versi full nya itu mencapai 10GB, sedangkan sekarang yang saat ini saya bagikan adalah versi DVD nya, ukurannya relative lebih kecil yaitu hanya 4.50 Giga saja, sehingga kalian bisa burning ke DVD langsung yang mempunyai kapasitas 4.70 giga. Mungkin tidak asing lagi dengan DriverPack Solution 15.4.12 DVD Version yang satu ini, merupakan salah satu tool yang digunakan untuk kebutuhan driver tanpa harus download driver dari internet karena semua jenis driver sudah tersedia didalamnya, bagi kalian yang mungkin kehilangan driver bawaan atau tidak ada sama sekali maka DriverPack Solution 15.4.12 DVD Version menjadi solusinya.


Download Single Link (4.20 GB):
 Download Part link (9 Part @500 MB):
  • Solidfiles | DriverPack Solution 15.4.12 DVD Version
  • Userscloud | DriverPack Solution 15.4.12 DVD Version
  • Password (if need) :  | Status : Tested (Windows 10 Pro Final)
Langkah installasi:
  1. Silahkan burning kedalam DVD atau bisa mount menggunakan power ISO atau sejenisnya (Jika menggunakan Windows 10 langung klik ganda)
  2. Jalankan DriverPackSolution.exe dan tunggu hingga selesai
  3. Jalankan DriverPackSolution DVD Version nya
  4. Selesai
^_^ Semoga bermanfaat

Twitter's New Homepage Goes Into Wide Release Today

A new homepage tries to remove some of the product’s mystery.

Twitter is widely rolling out a new homepage today that doesn't make people guess what its product does.

When viewed by someone that is not logged in to the platform, now displays actual tweets, where it used to only show categories. The new layout shoves high value tweets right in new users' faces. The implicit message: you're going to miss all this good stuff if you don't stick around.

The homepage, after a period of testing, is getting widely released today, the company confirmed.

The change is yet another in a slew that have taken place under the leadership of Interim CEO Jack Dorsey, who said he is willing to question everything in an effort to make Twitter more intuitive.

This homepage should take away some of the mystery of Twitter, which can often feel like a puzzle to people encountering it for the first time.

Marc Andreessen Has Heard Some Disturbing Rumors

The venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has been awfully disturbed recently.

Michael Kovac / Getty Images

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Obama Wants To Build World's Most Powerful Supercomputer

The President signed an executive order to launch a new technology initiative.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

On Wednesday, President Obama signed an executive order to launch a technology initiative designed to take American computing through the next decade. Called the National Strategic Computer Initiative, it lays out a plan "to maximize benefits of high-performance computing research, development, and deployment." Which means, in layman's terms, that the President wants to build the most powerful computers that have ever existed.

How powerful? About thirty times more powerful than anything working today, if the order's stated capability goal of an exascale computing system can be achieved. Exascale means a computer that can process a billion billion operations every second — what some scientists theorize it would take to model the human brain. Right now, China's Tianhe-2 holds the world record for most powerful computer at 33.86 petaflops, and there are 1,000 petaflops in an exascale system.

Leaving all the jargon behind, this order is swinging for the technological fences.

A supercomputer at the scale Obama calls for could be used for everything from defense projects to climate change research to drug development. A more powerful computer means, hopefully, that the questions we can answer will get more and more complex. The President's order signals that he wants America to be at the forefront of those discoveries, and lays out a basic framework for how to get there:

The United States must adopt a whole-of-government approach that draws upon the strengths of and seeks cooperation among all executive departments and agencies with significant expertise or equities in [high-performance computing] while also collaborating with industry and academia.

Facing technological challenges that include questions beyond how to build the computer itself, but also how to power it, program it, and find a way to build more of them, the order calls for cooperation — from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy, among others. That spirit of collaboration is not intended to be limited to government agencies, but will include the private sector as well. Which means we might see Silicon Valley pitching in on this supercomputer idea, too.

View Entire List ›

Facebook's Super Mario Hackathon In 11 GIFs

Facebook hosted a Super Mario hackathon this week. The winning team’s level will be included in the soon-to-be-released Super Mario Maker game.

Columbia Pictures

View Entire List ›

Hackers Are Increasingly Posting Tutorials To YouTube — And Making Money From Google Ads

A new report shows how hackers not only spread easy tutorials on how to hack web cams on YouTube, but also make money off Google Ads running alongside them. Google gets a share of the profits too.

Miss Teen USA 2013 Cassidy Wolf went public after hackers took photos of her through her web cam, now she tried to raise awareness among other teens.

Noam Galai / Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO — Hackers are uploading videos to YouTube showing people how to break into computers remotely — making money not only from selling hacking tools but also from Google Ads that run alongside the videos, according to a report published Wednesday by Digital Citizens Alliance, a Washington, DC-based NGO.

"Everything we found in the report we found in the clear, open web," Adam Benson, Deputy Executive Director of Digital Citizens Alliance, told BuzzFeed News. "These aren't some dark, hard to find forums teaching people how to invade your privacy. These are things that are now out in the open with Youtube. They are mainstream."

YouTube, which is owned by Google, also makes a profit from these tutorials — despite their illegal content. The report found that "roughly 38 percent of the video tutorials for the best-known RATs had advertisements running alongside the videos." Google gets most of the revenue from the ads, with a portion going to whoever posts the videos, based on views. As the process of remotely hijacking a computer becomes easier (and cheaper) to carry out, it has risen in popularity, according to the report.

YouTube accounts with names like Sausarge and TheBroBro have uploaded dozens of videos, contributing to the thousands of tutorials the report says are uploaded annually to guide anyone willing to listen on how to hijack a computer. While some feature just a run-through of the methods, most include a few seconds sample of footage they have recorded off a webcam — often a shot of young girl in her pajamas, or a teen playing with her hair while staring into her webcam. The hackers who do this use a remote administration tool (RAT) and are called "ratters." The method is so simple that a 7-minute YouTube video can teach anyone with the most basic computer skills how to purchase and use the software, the Digital Citizens Alliance said. It's also getting cheaper for would-be attackers, as the hackers make money on selling the tools and by running Google Ads on the YouTube videos, the report found, citing dozens of videos that it examined.

Just one video published six weeks ago has nearly 13,000 views already. It shows real footage from an unsuspecting family watching TV in their living room when a shrill version of the song "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" begins to play. The teenage daughter walks around the living room trying to find the source of the music, testing computers and phones. She grows increasingly panicked and begins yelling, "Mom, I think that camera is picking up creepy stuff. I think somebody hacked that camera!" From the computer, where a webcam has been turned on to watch and record the entire scene, a voice cackles.

The user who uploaded the video has dozens with similar titles, all including the phrase "cam trolling" and showing variations of people filmed without their consent. In the comments section, YouTube users complement the videos on their ability to scare or confuse people, and share tips and advice on how to hack into webcams.

While some sites like PirateBay or HackerForum offer free downloads of the RATs, updated or advanced versions can be found online for a mere $10-$50. According to the report, in 2013 similar RATs could cost as much as $250.

The ads running alongside the posts ranged from Acura and American Express to the Wall Street Journal and ESPN. Those companies pay YouTube's parent company Google for the adspace, when a video poster signs up for the YouTube Partner Program, they get a cut of whatever ad revenue is generated by video views in exchange for allowing the ads.

The YouTube Partner Program's guidelines state that each video must be "approved for monetization" and so, the report concludes, "someone, or something, 'approved' the videos running with Partner Program advertising. Who, or what, would approve advertising next to videos that humiliate children? YouTube hasn't answered questions about how ads could run next to videos sympathetic to ISIS, even with many advertisers wondering how that could happen."

Matt McLernon, a YouTube spokesman, told BuzzFeed News in an email: "YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is acceptable to post, and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users."

A screen grab of one YouTube video, where an attacker took over the camera of an Australian Teen. Advertisements for American Express and USB devices run in the background.

via Digital Citizens Alliance / Via

Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor against online crimes, and current CEO of SSP Blue, an internet security consultancy group, likened the practice to what police used to call "peeping Toms." Would-be attackers, he said, begin by going to YouTube to watch the films uploaded through compromised webcams. Then they find out how easy it is to hack into computers and take over webcams, mess with URLs, and play psychological games with the victims they have compromised.

"There is access to the child's home without ever going to the child's home," Nigam told BuzzFeed News. "There is a merging of a person who may be wanting to do something illegal in the physical world. but now they say ok, maybe i can do it in the online world. And the hacking community is making it really easy to do that."

Nigam, who still consults law enforcement officials on online crimes, said women were being increasingly targeted. "The number of women and teenage girls who are targets is going up," he said Nigam. "These guys go after women. They film them and then present them with the option of doing what the hacker says or being exposed to the world in a way which might be embarrassing. It is hard to come forward and report these crimes."

The Digital Citizens Alliance report found that a woman's compromised computer is, on average, worth more than a man's, with hackers selling access to the devices of women for $5, while access to a man's computer sold for $1.

Cassidy Wolf was Miss Teen California 2013 when she received an email containing two photographs of her naked in her own bedroom. The email threatened to make the photos public if she didn't send higher-quality photos.

"Your dream of being a model will be transformed into a porn star," the email said.

The photos were taken by her laptop's web camera, which had been hijacked by Jared James Abrahams, a former high school classmate of Wolf's.

Wolf went to police in April 2013, and six months later they arrested Abrahams. He was tried and sentenced in November 2014 to 18 months in prison for hacking into the webcams of dozens of young women, including Wolf.

Today, Wolf speaks out about how difficult it was to come forward, and regularly replies to emails and Facebook messages from teens facing similar extortion attempts after their computers and webcams were compromised.

"I've heard similar stories ever since my story became public," Wolf told BuzzFeed News by phone. "I think that crimes, physical or digital should be treated the same. Technology is constantly evolving and now it is allowing these peeping Tom's into your homes without them ever actually stepping foot there."

Wolf said she was disappointed that Google was not doing more to monitor for the type of content that would allows others to carry out the same sort of crimes she faced.

"Google should be trying to get ahead of the game, this is only going to get worse" said Wolf. "I've thought about starting a YouTube channel… but I didn't know these types of videos were part of their community. I just hope that one day if I start a YouTube channel I won't have to worry about people selling this stuff on my page."

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Zenefits Is An HR “Rocket Ship” — But Some Customers Get Left Behind

Matt Chase for BuzzFeed News

Mike Hawkins's four-month health insurance nightmare began in November, when he started doing business with a Silicon Valley startup called Zenefits.

Hawkins, the founder and CEO of Netizen, a cybersecurity startup in Allentown, Pennsylvania, had heard good things about Zenefits, a health insurance broker that offers free human resources software as a lure for small businesses. Launched in 2013, the San Francisco-based Zenefits is one of the fastest-growing and most talked-about startups of the moment, with more than 10,000 companies using its services, a valuation of $4.5 billion, and a roster of powerful investors.

But for Hawkins, 33, who became a software engineer after serving in the Army, Zenefits was instead a source of one headache after another. A process he thought would take about a month instead dragged on into March, when Hawkins finally gave up.

One of his employees, Max Harris, 37, the chief business development officer, wanted an allergist's opinion about what was ailing his four-year-old daughter, Caley, who had been getting sick with respiratory infections whenever the seasons changed. Harris, a former Army intelligence specialist and Arabic linguist who served in Iraq, hadn't had health insurance since leaving a job in a Wegmans deli to join Netizen in early 2014.

Finally, in late February this year, with coverage supposed to start days later, Zenefits informed Hawkins that it had made a significant mistake, attempting to enroll his employees with an insurance provider that didn't cover the company's region. The insurance wouldn't come through as planned.

"I'm done being patient with you people," Hawkins told Zenefits in an email that he shared with BuzzFeed News. "This is why no one likes Silicon Valley — companies like yours apparently have your heads up your asses. You're growing beyond your means and you'll be bankrupt within a year."

As it rapidly matures into a Silicon Valley giant, vacuuming up customers and burning through a mountain of venture capital, Zenefits has also racked up a number of customer complaints, over issues like software glitches and human error. More than a dozen customers who were interviewed for this article — a small but angry subset of the company's book of business — said Zenefits turned the HR process into an expensive nightmare. In several cases employees like Harris, who had put their trust in Zenefits, were left without health insurance for a month or more after they had expected it.

Matt Chase for BuzzFeed News

According to Zenefits, which is led by CEO and co-founder Parker Conrad, these service failures are rare, and not reflective of the experience of most customers. The company says it keeps 99.2% of its customers every month.

"Zenefits' customer satisfaction (as measured by net promoter score) is exceptional for a software-as-a-service company, especially one with 10,000-plus customers," Kenneth Baer, a Zenefits spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "It's also true that we sometimes make mistakes. This is the exception to the rule, and happens less and less frequently with each passing month. But when we do make a mistake, we work hard to correct it as quickly as possible, and make things right for our clients."

Zenefits claims it has grown more quickly than any other company delivering business software over the internet; it acquired those 10,000-plus customers and hired more than 500 employees in under two years, according to its website.

And unlike other richly valued startups like Uber and Airbnb, whose products are largely luxury items, Zenefits makes much of its money trading in a service that is essential to people's lives. So when Zenefits breaks, or when it makes a mistake, or even when it takes a particularly long time to fulfill a customer's request, the consequences can be serious.

Zenefits’ success and rapid expansion can be partly attributed to the industry it is disrupting. The majority of the insurance brokers who serve businesses are deeply — almost defiantly — old-fashioned, using their powers of persuasion and tolerance for tedium to convince insurance providers to give their clients a good deal. It's a business overflowing with forms and spreadsheets that companies resent having to fill out. Many insurance brokers are local, independent outfits. A few, like Digital Insurance, a subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial, or Wells Fargo, which has an insurance brokerage arm, are major corporations.

The insurance brokerage business is extremely lucrative. After selling insurance policies, brokers are paid commissions by the insurance companies every month, in perpetuity, even if they do nothing. Zenefits has become a broker itself, collecting around 5% of its customers' monthly insurance premiums, in line with the industry standard.

This predictable stream of revenue has made Zenefits very popular among investors. The monthly payments cause Zenefits’ financial statements to resemble those of startups that sell software over the internet on a subscription basis (a widely used business model known as software-as-a-service). Except in Zenefits’ case, the software is free. That tempts customers to use it to organize their employee benefits and payroll, which in turn often encourages them to buy insurance through Zenefits. And the payments from the insurance companies keep flowing in.

"It's a genius business model," said Jonathan Marcus, the CEO and founder of Goodsie, a New York-based startup that provides e-commerce software to businesses, and which is a Zenefits customer. "I'm very jealous I didn't think of it."

Matt Chase for BuzzFeed News

The early success of the business model has some of the world's best venture capitalists enthralled with the prospects for Zenefits. Andreessen Horowitz, which has been an investor in success stories like Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb, now has more of its money invested in Zenefits than in any other company. (Andreessen Horowitz is an investor in BuzzFeed.)

From the beginning, Zenefits took an aggressive approach to entering the market and defending its turf. In the fall of 2013, just months after Zenefits launched, Conrad, the CEO, learned that a group of investors who had provided seed financing to Zenefits had also backed SimplyInsured, a rival insurance broker that used a similar business model. Zenefits and SimplyInsured had been peers in the prestigious Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator, completing the program together in early 2013.

Conrad, concerned about a possible conflict, told the investors that he planned to return their money, according to people briefed on the matter and emails obtained by BuzzFeed News. While such a stance wouldn't be surprising for regulating later-stage investments, some experts said it was an unusual way to handle investments made at the seed stage, when a company's place in the marketplace isn't yet established.

The investors, opting to stick with Zenefits, instead sold their stake in SimplyInsured, people briefed on the matter said. Zenefits went on to raise a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. SimplyInsured, focusing more narrowly on health insurance and courting smaller companies, has been left in the dust.

Zenefits is now a juggernaut, raising $500 million of venture capital in May to fuel its expansion. After opening an office in Scottsdale, Arizona, it recently signed a lease on an office in nearby Tempe, which will soon house hundreds of new employees. Late last year, in a sign of its clout, the company hired David Sacks, a founder of Yammer and a former PayPal executive, to be its chief operating officer.

"Just managing something that's growing this fast, it's kind of like building the rocket ship in mid-flight," Sacks said in a recent Zenefits promotional video. "That's an incredibly challenging thing to do."

Setting up health insurance for a small company is a complicated process, with plenty of potential for error, regardless of who the broker is. Brokers, both old-school and new, make mistakes, sometimes forcing employees to go without health insurance for months. "It's kind of like buying a house," said Jessica Miller-Merrell, a human resources expert and blogger who advises tech companies on their HR. "You have a mountain of paperwork you have to complete and sign. If you miss a particular paper, it delays the process."

Zenefits' heavy emphasis on software, Miller-Merrell added, introduces additional risks. "When you use technology to automate the process," she said, "mistakes are likely going to be made. And they're probably big ones."

The Zenefits spokesperson argued that the company's technology actually lowers the potential for mistakes, because it is less reliant on humans.

Many customers interviewed for this article declined to speak on the record; as startup companies often based in Silicon Valley, they were fearful of angering powerful friends of Zenefits, like Andreessen Horowitz or Y Combinator. But their stories showed how even small failures of the Zenefits "rocket ship" can be disastrous for its customers.

When setting up health insurance coverage, Zenefits can be prone to seemingly careless errors, several customers said — like premiums being charged for an employee who had left a company, or a current employee being incorrectly cut off from health insurance.

Several startup executives said administrative errors by Zenefits caused employees to go without health insurance while they were being resolved. In one case, a startup executive said they paid out of pocket for an employee's prescriptions during a month that the employee went without coverage.

Zenefits declined to comment on these examples. Without knowledge of the customers' identities, representatives said they could not determine whether the errors were the fault of Zenefits, an insurance company, or the customer.

Part of the problem may come down to resources. While many Zenefits customers have dedicated account managers, companies with fewer than 25 employees generally don't have one after their initial setup period. "We can't afford to have one person for every two-person company; we wouldn't be in business," a senior Zenefits executive, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, told BuzzFeed News.

Many of the unhappy customers said it seemed to them like Zenefits was growing too quickly to adequately resolve their issues. Several described a churn of customer service representatives — they would start working with one Zenefits representative, and then learn that person had been either fired or promoted to a different job.

"Everybody I talked to got promoted within two weeks, it seemed like," said Hawkins, the Netizen CEO. Marcus, the CEO of the New York-based startup Goodsie, said, "the contacts we had are no longer there."

Zenefits very well "could end up being revolutionary," said Adam Beck, a health insurance professor at the American College, in Bryn Mawr, Penn. But he said Zenefits would have to find a way to balance its reliance on technology with a personal touch.

"There is very much a human element in many aspects of insurance, really outside property and casualty," Beck said. "You do need more human interaction, just because the nature of the financial product is inherently more personal."

Some customers were willing to forgive missteps by Zenefits, especially when they related to software bugs — an issue that any fast-growing technology company has to deal with. But bugs in Zenefits software, which create problems when customers try to perform daily tasks, can be particularly aggravating.

Michael Schneider, a 34-year-old serial entrepreneur in Los Angeles, signed up for Zenefits in June after starting a company called Service, which aims to resolve customer complaints relating to any company. "Overall, I love the idea of Zenefits," Schneider said. "I hate paper, and I hate bullshit, and Zenefits seems to be a really efficient play to solve all those issues."

Schneider wanted to use Zenefits to pay a couple of contractors, but he was stymied when the software wouldn't verify Service's bank account. "They finally acknowledged it as a bug," Schneider said. The senior Zenefits executive said the bug stemmed from a software glitch known as a race condition, which prevented the system from verifying test deposits. Before the issue was fixed, however, Schneider used PayPal to pay his contractors on schedule, incurring almost $300 in fees. He said he was led to believe the fees would be reimbursed by Zenefits.

He never received the reimbursement, though he says he is now a happy customer. The senior Zenefits executive dismissed the notion that Schneider would be paid back, drawing this analogy: "It's like saying there was something I encountered, like a technical snafu or a bug, at Amazon, and so I bought the product at Best Buy for a higher price, and then I came back to Amazon and said, 'I want you to refund me the difference in cost.'"

Since Zenefits relies on insurance companies, some problems are out of the company’s hands. For Marcus, of Goodsie, the process of enrolling in health care for his small company last year was painfully slow, with insurance cards failing to arrive until late in September, the month that coverage was supposed to begin. Zenefits says this delay stemmed from the insurance company, which took a particularly long time.

But Marcus, who switched to Zenefits after becoming fed up with a local insurance broker, also had complaints with Zenefits itself. Despite the free software, he said, he didn't feel the process was much more automated than his previous experience. When an employee recently applied for coverage, for example, Marcus assumed the employee's status would be reflected in the Zenefits software. But Marcus only learned the coverage had been approved, he said, when he happened to call Zenefits to inquire about it.

"I thought there would be a change in the process, but there wasn't really," Marcus told BuzzFeed News. "There's just a lot of manual paperwork required by Zenefits, the same way that would be required by any broker."

"So, I'm left scratching my head," Marcus added. "What are they doing to earn the monthly commission they earn off of us? The answer, as a 10-person company, is nothing, really." Marcus remains a Zenefits customer.

A number of Zenefits customers have complained about their problems through Twitter, including Netizen, the cybersecurity startup in Pennsylvania. Hawkins, the Netizen CEO, said in a tweet in late November that he wasn't able to get his employees set up with insurance. He soon got an email from Matt Epstein, Zenefits's vice president of marketing, who said a gap in a Zenefits database meant Netizen wouldn't have immediate access to price quotes.

Matt Chase for BuzzFeed News

"It looks like we have live quotes for your company zip code, but not your employee zip code," Epstein said in the email. "This happens very rarely, but unfortunately happened to you."

With the automated process having fallen short, Netizen would have to use a manual method, including sending personal information about its employees to Zenefits. The senior Zenefits executive who spoke to BuzzFeed News said Hawkins didn't send this information until late January, delaying the process. Hawkins countered that he was busy and had hoped Zenefits would help him avoid this very type of paperwork.

But then, more than a month after Zenefits had received the paperwork, and with just days remaining before the coverage was supposed to start, a Zenefits representative said in an email that the company had submitted Netizen's application to a local Blue Cross member company that didn't offer insurance in Netizen's county. "There are 4 different versions of Blue Cross that operate in Pennsylvania and the underwriter did not inform us of this until your case was sent to be finalized," the email, sent on February 25, said.

Zenefits said it would have to apply again for the insurance — which would now start a month later, in April.

For Harris, the 37-year-old Army veteran who was Hawkins's first hire, the Zenefits failure came at a particularly stressful time. Harris had recently gone through a divorce. His daughter, Caley, had health insurance only through the Children's Health Insurance Program in Pennsylvania — which wouldn't fully cover a trip to an allergist to treat her seasonal illness. Harris said the problems with Zenefits aggravated his post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I had already reached out to my allergist" to set up an appointment for Caley, Harris told BuzzFeed News. "And then Zenefits was like, 'Oh, oops.'"

"I wanted to throw my computer at the wall," he said. "I was furious."

Zenefits ended up offering Netizen another option, to enroll with a different carrier by mid-March and have the coverage apply retroactively to March 1. Hawkins, frustrated by the lengthy process, dumped Zenefits instead.

He eventually got his employees health insurance through a Zenefits rival, Justworks. Harris is planning to take his daughter to an allergist in August.

“Look, I want to love the platform. It has promise,” Hawkins said in a tweet to Conrad, the Zenefits CEO, on the night Zenefits admitted its mistake. “But it has the appearance of moving too fast to keep up.”

After Protesting Low Pay, WeWork Cleaners Are Set To Lose Their Jobs

The commercial real estate startup, valued at $10 billion, paid contracted cleaners less than half union-standard wages. Now the cleaners that protested their pay are set to lose their jobs.

MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

Many of WeWork's New York-based cleaning staff are set to lose their jobs, just weeks after protesting for higher pay and better working conditions at the shared office space provider.

WeWork, which was valued at $10 billion in a funding round last month, currently uses a non-union contractor to provide cleaners for its New York buildings. The contractor pays less than half the standard wage paid to the majority of the city's janitors, who are unionized.

In mid-June, janitors and supporters protested at WeWork's Manhattan headquarters, asking for higher pay and better benefits. A local branch of the Service Employees International Union later filed a complaint alleging WeWork threatened to have cleaners fired if they unionized.

WeWork's contract with the cleaning company, Commercial Building Maintenance, was terminated about a week after the June 18 protest, WeWork said today. Workers say they began hearing that their jobs may not be secure in recent weeks, and were recently notified that the work cleaning WeWork's buildings would end on August 23.

"We hope the workers would get re-hired because they've all been working there in good standing for months or years without any problems," said Rachel Cohen, a representative of the SEIU, which has backed the protests. "It's quite standard with these types of contracts for the cleaners to keep their jobs and just be employed by someone new."

A WeWork spokesperson said in a statement: "CBM terminated their contract with WeWork on June 25. We are currently working to make sure we have uninterrupted cleaning service for our members." CBM did not respond to requests for comment.

While several of the workers contracted through CBM have re-applied for their current jobs directly with WeWork, according to Cohen, others have not interviewed or received information about the future of their jobs.

Because WeWork does not directly employ its cleaners, instead contracting the work through CBM, ending that contract effectively terminates the current workforce of cleaners, without the company firing a single worker. WeWork may have the option of re-hiring the workers in-house, through a contract negotiated with a different company, or not at all.

Once word came of the contract termination, workers began sending letters to the company to apply for their existing positions with whomever the new employer is, according to Cohen. Over the next week, the SEIU is organizing leafletting and other actions at WeWork buildings to inform its tenants about the contract change.

Actor James Woods Sues Anonymous Twitter User For $10 Million

James Woods in 2013

Matt Sayles / Invision for Fiji Water

Academy Award-nominated actor James Woods filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit Wednesday against an anonymous Twitter user who claimed the star was a "cocaine addict," according to court papers filed in Los Angeles.

The Nixon and Casino star is suing the owner of the Twitter handle "Abe List" for defamation and invasion of privacy – and is demanding a jury trial, according to the complaint.

"In fact, Woods is not now, nor has he ever been a cocaine addict," the court papers state.

The actor claims that Able List launched in a malicious campaign against him that began with childish name calling in 2014 and escalated beyond the limits of free speech. The court papers said that Able List called Wood's "prick," "joke," "ridiculous," "scum," and "clown-boy" – but appears as though "cocaine addict" crossed Wood's line.

Woods intends to "unmask and reveal AL for the liar he is and recover an excess of $10 million in damages."

The malicious tweets, Woods says, have caused him international harm adding that "AL, and anyone else using social media to propagate lies and do harm should take note. They are not impervious to the law."

Twitter has since suspended the Abe List account.

Search Plumber In San Francisco, And Google Will Find You A Plumber

The company has begun experimenting with a paid search product that could compete with Handy, Taskrabbit, and other on-demand labor startups.

Google search results for "locksmith" in San Francisco.

Google is now testing its new local home services product in San Francisco.

As BuzzFeed News first reported in April, the search giant has been experimenting with launching an advertising product that would connect search users with local home services providers such as plumbers, roofers, and cleaners.

In the San Francisco pilot, some search results for queries such as "plumber" will feature head shots of potential professionals for hire who have been vetted by Google, according to these guidelines, along with basic business information such as phone number and hours. Much as with other Google advertising products, home-services professionals will pay for placement in search results.

Earlier this month, after on-demand cleaning service startup Homejoy shut down, Google hired a number of its engineers. This rollout of paid listings appears to be a concrete step in the direction of a Google answer to Amazon Home Services, which launched in the spring and expanded to fifteen new cities last week.

Some investors have said that the local, on-demand startup space is potentially over-saturated in certain verticals, and predicted that the market will have to consolidate in the coming months. That economic reality could provide an opportunity for larger companies like Google and Amazon, which have considerably more generous margins, to use their larger native user bases to dominate this space.

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We Have Wi-Fi At 35,000 Feet — Can We Stop Getting Ripped Off For It?

Gogo lets us send email while hurtling through the sky. If only opting out from its monthly charges were as simple.

PR Newswire

There's an undeniable magic to browsing the web in the sky: sending emails among the clouds, keeping up with happenings on the ground while 35,000 feet in the air.

For the majority of fliers, this service is provided by Gogo, a Nasdaq-listed company that has built up a $1.6 billion valuation by making the once-fantastical prospect of in-flight Wi-Fi a reality on the bulk of U.S. domestic flights. But despite its great technical achievements, there's one thing not included in Gogo's slick infrastructure for signing up and paying for its service: a cancel button.

Due to the high price of a single session, Gogo makes its monthly access option highly lucrative for consumers — on a trip to San Francisco last month, I knew I needed the internet both ways, making a $50 monthly pass cheaper than purchasing two single-day passes for $30 each. There was no middle option.

But then comes the catch: You keep paying that $50 every month, even if you aren't using the service. Gogo doesn't send receipts for monthly charges, and doesn't offer an option for consumers to request receipts. While you can now cancel two days before the next billing date to avoid a charge, it used to be seven days. And to get that cancellation, you need to either call customer service, chat with a representative, or email Gogo. Apparently a "cancel" option on its website just isn't something the company wants to offer.

"It all just feels to me that they intentionally built this system to bill people who aren't using it," said Ken Rutsky, who heads a marketing consultancy in Mountain View, California, and was charged for a month of service he didn't want. "You're just not thinking about Gogo if you're not in the air. I think they know that."

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Amazon Made You A Soothing, Guitar-Filled CD

Listeners on Amazon Prime Music are getting an exclusive, all-acoustic playlist with original recordings commissioned by the company.

OAR's Marc Roberge


On July 31, Amazon Prime Music subscribers will be treated to a streaming all-acoustic playlist, with exclusive tracks from 30 artists in a mix of covers and original songs. It is only Amazon's second excursion into exclusive streaming, following a holiday release last winter called "All Is Bright." What's really interesting about the playlist, however, is that these tracks aren't just exclusive to Amazon due to licensing agreements, they're exclusive because Amazon commissioned the recordings itself.

The collection, titled simply "Amazon Acoustics," will stream on Amazon Prime Music, Amazon's streaming service that comes free with Amazon Prime. The playlist includes a cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya" by Surfer Blood, a song by Train, and an original solo track from OAR's Marc Roberge.

"When it's Amazon, you jump on it," Roberge explained to BuzzFeed News of his decision to record a track for the Seattle retailer. "This is just a really timely and awesome opportunity. I wrote the song the day I got the call."

Exclusive tracks represent a strong emerging trend for streaming. One of the few ways the Spotifys or Rdios of the world can differentiate from the competition is to offer something unique that the others don't have. Usually that comes in the form of an artist picking one streaming service over another, like Taylor Swift putting her music on Apple Music and not on Spotify, or windowed releases — when an album would, hypothetically, be available on Spotify for a few weeks or months before getting released to Apple Music.

So "Amazon Acoustics" — as a commissioned release — is a new way to look at exclusives. It puts Amazon in similar territory with record labels, and is even more similar to the way Netflix offers exclusive shows it makes itself, taking on something of a studio role.

An all-acoustic playlist is, uh, let's say fairly out of step compared to exclusives on other on-demand music services. This year, hip-hop has been the streaming economy's biggest trend, dominating services like Spotify, YouTube, and Rdio. So, why strum when the rest of the industry thumps?

According to Steve Boom, vice president of Digital Music at Amazon, Prime Music has a different audience than its competitors. "The Amazon Prime demographic is different than the general demographic," Boom told BuzzFeed News. (We translated this to mean that it has more old people.) "[Prime] is getting wide enough to seem like it's the same, but it's not."

Boom went on to explain that Prime listeners are more of the "lean-back" variety — the kind of listener who relies on curation and ease of use for a casual listening experience, instead of a platform geared toward letting the audience find new music for themselves. Pandora, the online radio service, is a purely lean-back service, and is one of the few major platforms to also not count hip-hop as its leading genre among audience members.

Regardless of what this release could be a model for — in terms of lean-back experiences, commissioned releases, or strum-along music for a wider age category — Amazon downplays the importance of exclusivity.

"I think the jury is still out on whether exclusives will be a big deal," said Boom. "We want to provide something cool for our customers — that's the bottom line."