US Court rules a bank can be sued for their failure to adopt multi-factor authentication

Late last month an Illinois District Court ruled a bank can be sued for their failure to adopt multi-factor authentication and concluded the bank breached its duty to protect the Plaintiffs' account against fraudulent access, and if the bank's failure to adopt multi-factor authentication caused fraudulent access to plaintiffs' account, it could be held liable for negligence.

In 2007, a hacker gained access to the plaintiffs' online accounts by using the plaintiffs’ username and password. The hacker ordered a $26,500 advance on the plaintiffs’ home equity line of credit, which was transferred to a bank in Austria. When the theft was discovered and the funds traced, the Austrian bank refused to return the money.

Citizens Bank notified the plaintiffs that it intended to hold them liable for the harm. The online banking agreement between Citizens and the plaintiffs stated "We will have no liability to you for any unauthorized payment or transfer made using your password that occurs before you have notified us of possible unauthorized use and we have had a reasonable opportunity to act on that notice." Citizens billed the plaintiffs for the $26,500, and when failed to pay the balance on time, Citizens reported the account as delinquent to credit bureaus, and threatened to foreclose on their home, if the plaintiffs continued to refuse to make payments.

The plaintiffs sued Citizens, claiming that the bank's actions violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.), the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq.), the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (15 U.S.C. § 1693 et seq.) and constituted common law negligence.

The Court ruled, "In light of Citizens' apparent delay in complying with FFIEC security standards, a reasonable finder of fact could conclude that the bank breached its duty to protect Plaintiffs' account against fraudulent access[,]" and if the bank's failure to adopt multi-factor authentication caused fraudulent access to plaintiffs' account, it could be held liable for negligence.”

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Study: TV can impair speech development of young children

A new study adds to the debate over whether television impairs children's language development.It found that parents and children virtually stop talking to each other when the TV is on, even if they're in the same room.

For every hour in front of the TV, parents spoke 770 fewer words to children, according to a study of 329 children, ages 2 months to 4 years, in the June issue ofArchives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.Adults usually speak about 941 words an hour.

Christakis and his colleagues fitted children with digital devices that recorded everything they heard or said one day a month for an average of six months. A speech-recognition program, which could differentiate TV content from human voices, compared the number of words exchanged when televisions were on or off.

Virtual healthcare system makes house calls

Four months go by, on average, between scheduled checkups for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. A lot can happen between visits, and researchers at Boston Medical Center are pioneering ways to stay virtually connected with patients so that any healthcare issues can be addressed without delay.
The goal is to provide guidance and information when patients need it, during their daily lives and not just during scheduled doctor visits, says Robert Friedman, a physician and head of a team at Boston Medical Center that's developing telephone-based systems for delivering virtual care. [click heading for more]

George Bush's voice speech synthesised for Text-to-speech

Ok folks, this is just for fun, but on my web travels I discovered this speech synthesis of George Bush using the Cereproc TTS engine. Quality is what you would expect from a voice built from a mixed-bag of public domain speech samples, but actually, it's rather convincing.

For a long time we've never been able to believe photographs thanks to the awesome power of Adobe Photoshop. Perhaps the time when the same is true of voice recordings is soon upon us... [click heading for more]

Nuance Teams with Genesys to Deliver World-Class, On-Demand Self Service Solutions for Enterprises

Nuance Communications, Inc. announced today a partnership with Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company to integrate the Genesys Voice Platform (GVP) into Nuance’s On Demand Network.
Through this relationship, enterprises can gain access to the Genesys Voice Platform in a highly scalable and reliable hosted call center solution that enables their consumers to effortlessly get help, make purchases and save time. As part of the agreement between the companies, Nuance will combine the power of the Nuance On Demand carrier-grade VoiceXML hosting network with the Genesys Voice Platform as one of its preferred partners for delivering self service interactions in a secure hosted environment. [click heading for more]