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sexta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2014

"Linx 7" Windows 8.1 Tablet, Goes on Sale in the UK for Just £80

In Recent Months, we've Seen the Market Flooded with a Wave of Affordable Windows Tablets and Phones. Acer, for Example, Unveiled its Iconia Tab 8 W Last Month, Priced at $150 USD (Roughly £94 GBP / €119 EUR); Toshiba Launched the Encore Mini Tablet for just $119 (£74 / $94); and More Recently, HP Announced a Range of Low-Cost Windows Tablets and Notebooks, including the Stream 7 Slate for just $99 (£62 / €79). The Latest such Example has Gone on Sale in the United Kingdom for just £79.98 ($128 / €102), Making it One of the Most Affordable Windows Tablets Ever to Go on Sale in the UK.

Key Specs of the "Linx 7", include:

- 7-inch IPS LCD with 1280x800px resolution
- Quad-core Intel Bay Trail-T processor
- 32GB storage (plus microSD slot)
- 2MP rear camera
- 2MP front-facing camera
- 3500mAh battery

The Device also Comes with a Free 1-Year Office 365 Personal Subscription, which Includes Unlimited OneDrive Storage. You Can also Get a Further £30 ($48 / €38) Off the Cost of the Tablet at Ebuyer, if you Trade in your Old Tablet When Buying the "Linx 7", Bringing the Price Down to just £49.98 ($80 / €63). The "Linx 7" Won't Win any Awards for Stunning Design and it's Unlikely to be a Mobile Powerhouse but, for those Looking for a Simple, Affordable Tablet for Occasional Use, it Certainly Seems Worth Considering.

Info Sources:

Hands on with the "Microsoft Band"

Microsoft Released its "Band" the Other Day and we Got to Spend a Little Bit of Time with the Device. The Wearable, which is a Hot Commodity Right Now as it is already Sold Out Online, Comes in 3 Different Sizes and Works with the Top 3 Mobile Platforms. In the Box Comes the "Band" and the Charger along with the Typical Instruction Manual. No Big Surprises here but, Once you Pick the "Band" Up, you Can Tell that, it is a Quality Piece of Equipment. The Build Quality Feels Great, the Materials are Sturdy and the Clasp has a Reassuring 'Click' to it, that Makes you Feel like the Device Won't Fall Off your Wrist. The Band of the "Band" is Firm but, has a Rubbery Feel to it and the Device Wraps Snugly Around your Wrist. The Battery Charging Connector is a Bit Larger than we Would Have Expected but, it does Connect Easily to the Device with Magnets. Seeing that, the "Band" will Run for 48 Hours without Needing to be Recharged, you Won't Need this Cable as Often as you Would Think. Although, we still Have to Fully Test the Device to See if the Battery Life is as Good as Microsoft Claims. The Display is Bright and the Screen is Responsive with our Limited Use and the Device had No Trouble Pairing with the Phone. The Vibration is also Firm and it Can be Adjusted to 3 Different Levels. While we Put the Device to the Test to Write Up our Review, Take a Look at the Gallery below and Let us Know if you Have any Questions in the Comments Section.

AMD Working on Smaller, Cooler Chip for Future XBox One Slim

AMD is Working on the Next Version of the Chip Found Inside the XBox One, a Smaller, Cheaper and Cooler Version that will No Doubt be Used in an upcoming “XBox One Slim” Re-Design of the Console. The Information Comes via LinkedIn, Where One of AMD’s Senior Managers Mentions he “successfully planned and executed the first APU for Microsoft's Xbox One Game Console in 28nm technology and a cost-reduced derivative in 20nm technology”. In Normal Speak that Means that, besides the 28nm Processor that, Both the XBox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 currently Use, AMD has Developed a Version of the Chip Based on the Smaller 20nm Technology. By Creating a Smaller Chip, the Manufacturer Can Get Higher Performance, Lower Temperatures, Cheaper Products, Lower Power Usage and so on. Usually a Combination of these, is Employed by Tablet and Laptop Manufacturers, which Lets Each Consecutive Model, be a Bit More Powerful or Power Efficient than the Previous Generation. However, When it Comes to Consoles, there’s Little Reason to Believe Microsoft would Opt for a More Powerful Chip, which Would Make its current XBox One Obsolete and Anger All of its Fans.

What’s Far More Likely, Almost Inevitable, is that, the New Smaller Chips will Maintain the Same Performance but Run Much Cooler and Much More Efficiently. This will Allow Microsoft to Redesign the Physical Aspects of the XBox One, including All the Massive Cooling Systems and Ship a Smaller, Quieter, “Slim” Version of its Console. And of Course, All of these Factors Combined will Likely also Mean Lower Manufacturing Costs, the Savings of which Might be Passed onto Consumers, Meaning the Future XBox One Slim Might be Even Cheaper than Today’s Consoles. And of Course, we’re Focusing on Microsoft’s Own Console but, the Same Technology and Chip will Very Likely be Used for a Future Slim Version of the PlayStation 4 so, Sony Fans will also be Catered to and Get to Enjoy the Same Benefits Outlined above. There’s No Word on When All of this Might actually Come to Pass, Economics Playing an Important Role in the Companies’ Timing. But, Redesigned Versions of the Current Consoles are Inevitable Sooner or Later.

Info Sources:

Bing Update, Makes Searching for Animated GIFs a Lot Easier

Earlier this Week, Microsoft Rolled Out a New Update to its Bing Search Engine, Allowing Users to Perform Searches Using Emoji, rather than Words. Yesterday, the Company has Added Another Feature to Bing, with an Easier Way to Search for Animated GIFs - just in Time for Halloween too so, Get Ready to Search for Some Spooky Bats, Haunted Houses and Glowing Pumpkins. This New Update Makes Searching for GIFs a Lot Easier. Now, When you Perform an Image Search, you Can Click on the "Type" Filter below the Search Bar and Select "Animated GIF" and the Page will Refresh to Display the Animated GIFs Only. You Can Simply Hover over the Image, to Play the GIF Automatically. Moreover, you Won't Have to Filter your Queries to Find the Related Animated GIFs. Any Search Result that is an Animated GIF, will Have the "GIF" Badge on its Bottom Left Corner as Seen in the Photo below, which will Make it Simpler for you, to Know Whether the Image will Animate on Hover or Click of the Image.

You Can Try Out this Feature Yourself by Heading over to Bing Images:

Info Source:

London Police Want to Know Who's Likely to Commit Crimes Ahead of Time

London Police are Testing a System which Would Let them Know Who's Likely to Commit a Crime before they’ve actually Done it. However, it’s Not Quite as Minority Report (Pic below) as it Sounds, as the Predictive Technology is Aimed at Gang Members. The Study on this System is Reported to be the 1st One in the United Kingdom, though Predictive Tech like this has been Tested and Even Used Elsewhere Around the World. The Software, Developed by Accenture, Works by Collecting a Lot of Data on the Person in Question, Going through Police Systems to Look for Prior Infractions and Ending Up Scrubbing Social Media for Possible Behavioral Hints. Then it Uses an Algorithm to Determine How Likely a Person is, to Commit a Future Crime. It’s Basically the Same Sort of System that’s Used to Determine if an Inmate will be a Repeat Offender upon Release.

Muz Janoowalla, Head of Public Safety at Accenture, Explained it like this:

"You've got limited police resources and you need to target them efficiently. What this does is tell you who are the highest risk individuals that you should target your limited resources against."

Obviously, this has Raised a Number of Privacy and Human Rights Concerns from Advocacy Groups Who are Calling on the Company and the London Police to be Much More Open about How this System Works, Who it’s Targeting and What Types of Data are Collected.

Info Source:

Latest Android Encrypted by Default, Adds “Smart” Device Locking

The Latest Version of the Android Operating System, Lollipop, Adds Encryption by Default, along with a Variety of Easy-to-Use Ways to Lock and Unlock the Phone and a More Secure Foundation to Help Protect Devices against Current Threats. In a Blog Post Published on Tuesday, Google Described the Features, which will Begin Shipping with the Lollipop OS in New Android Devices in the Coming Weeks. While Some of the Capabilities, such as Encryption, are already Included in the current Android OS, the New Version will Turn them on by Default. Many of the Security Features were Born of Android’s Open-Source Foundations and the Fact that Other Researchers and Companies Can Create and Test New Security Features for the Operating System, Adrian Ludwig, Lead Security Engineer for Android at Google, Said during a Briefing on the Security Features. “It is that openness and visibility that is really unique to Android among all the mobile operating systems and will make sure that we have security innovation and is a long-term advantage in terms of security”, he Said. “With Lollipop, we have a chance to make improvements at the operating-system level and really advance the trusted platform.”

Google Classifies its Security Efforts on Android into 3 Groups, Consisting of Building a Trusted Platform, Adding Additional Services to Help Secure Devices and Supporting Additional Security for the Open Android Ecosystem. Most of the Work in Lollipop Focused on Helping Users Lock Down their Devices from the Most Significant Danger, the Loss or Theft of a Device. To that End, the Company has Turned on Encryption by Default, essentially Placing any Data on an Android Smartphone or Tablet into a Digital Safe that Should be Impossible to Crack. The Move, which has Caused Much Consternation among Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies, Means that, Users will No Longer Have to Make the Choice of Whether to Turn the Feature on. “The question is not whether the security feature exists but, how do we make sure it is available and as easy to use for as many users as possible”, Ludwig Said.

Current Android Users Could Turn on Encryption in a Device’s Settings but, Would Have to Wait for any Data to be Encrypted, which Could Take Minutes or Hours. The Company has also Created SmartLock, a Way to Automatically Lock and Unlock the Phone Using a Variety of Factors, such as Facial Recognition or the Proximity of a Specific Device — such as an Earpiece — Using Bluetooth or Near-Field Communications (NFC). Because Many Users Don't Set a Passcode on their Phones, Google Hopes the SmartLock Technology will Convince People to Use the Easy-to-Use Locking Mechanism and Protect the Device if it is Lost or Stolen. “The goal is, if the user’s device is lost, they don’t have to worry about the sensitive data, that data will automatically be protected”, Ludwig Said. Google has also Invested in Using Security Enhancements for Linux Project, Known as SE Linux, to Harden the Foundations of the Android Operating System. The Added Security Allows the OS to Better Isolate Applications from Each Other and Prevent a Malicious Application from Accessing Other Software on the Device. “We have already seen examples of existing vulnerabilities that were blocked because of the adoption of SE Linux”, Ludwig Said.

SE Linux Not Only Provides Better Security but also Provides, a Better Look into the Security Model on any Particular Device. Users Can View the Security Model on a Lollipop Device and Gain a Better Idea of its Security, he Said. As a Way to Guide its Security Efforts in the Future, Google is also Analyzing its User Data to Figure Out What are the Actual Threats to Android Devices, Ludwig Said. While it is Obvious that Lost and Stolen Devices are the #1 Threat, the Company Doesn't actually Know which of the Distant-Second Security Issues it should Worry about, Ludwig Said. “We do believe there are some small number of users affected by potentially harmful programs or malware; we do believe there is a small number of users who have network-level exploitation of their devices, such as man-in-the-middle attacks”, he Said. “There are a variety of these different threats that are relatively low in volume but, we are trying to understand what the frequency is of these lower-volume threats.”

Info Source:

Facebook Works on the World's Biggest Anonymity Network

Facebook, the Website Where People Share their Entire Personal Lives for Everyone to Gawp at, is Now Available on the Anonymity Network that's Designed to do Precisely the Opposite. Follow this Link in your Tor Browser and you'll be Able to Tell Friends you're at the Park Row Starbucks without the Feds Finding Out Where you are. Until Now, Facebook Saw Tor's Global Network of Proxies as a Malicious Botnet, Making it Difficult for People to Poke Each Other under Cover of Darkness. With this Experiment, however, Users Can Connect Directly to Facebook's Core Infrastructure, Providing End-to-End Communication Straight into One of the Company's Data Centers. At the Moment, Facebook's Olive Branch to the Privacy Mob is just an Experiment but, Software Engineer, Alex Muffett, Hopes that, Even the Mobile Site will be Accessible in the Same Way.

Info Sources:


Sony Loses a Little Less Money, Thanks to the PlayStation 4 **UPDATES**

If you're Rooting for Sony to Pull through Recent Tough Times, it's still a Cliffhanger, according to its Latest Earnings Report. On the Plus Side, PS4 Sales Have been Stellar, Up 83% over Last Year at 310 Billion Yen ($2.8 Billion). The Good News Drops Off Sharply from there, however, especially with Mobile. Though Sales in that Division were Up Slightly from 2013, it Managed to Lose 172 Billion Yen ($1.5 Billion). Since Most of Sony's Other Divisions Fared Ok, that Means its 86 Billion Yen ($770 Million) Operating Loss, Can be Directly Chalked Up to its Mobile Division. Though it Warned Investors that, Smartphone Sales would be Dismal, Sony Nevertheless Decided to Fire its Mobile Division's CEO, Kunimasa Suzuki and Replace him with VP, Hiroki Totoki.


Additional Figures from Sony Have Shown us just How Well the PlayStation 4 is Doing: the Company Says it's Sold 3.3 Million over the Past Quarter. For Contrast, Microsoft Announced Combined XBox 360 and XBox One Shipments of 2.4 Million in its Latest Financial Results.

Info Source:

**UPDATE #2**

Tickets for Sony's PlayStation Experience in December, Go on Sale Today but, Aside from a Few Coy Teases, What you'll do there Hasn't been Clear. Well Now that's Changing. For Starters, Project Morpheus -- the Catch-Up King's VR Headset -- is Making its Consumer Show Debut (as Opposed to, Say, Appearing at E3). As Far as Games Go, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, The Order: 1866 and Bloodborne are Making Appearances too. And What would PlayStation be Without Indies ? The Journey and Grim Fandango Remasters for PS4, Helldivers, The Witness will be there and Something "Super Special" is Planned for No Man's Sky Come the Show's Saturday Night. There's Too Much to List here and More still to Come apparently so, Head over to the PlayStation Blog for the Full Line-Up that'll be in Las Vegas a Little over a Month from Now.

Info Sources:

"Targeted Attacks Against Businesses Jump", Says Kaspersky Lab

A Survey of Companies across the Globe, has Found an Uptick in the Number of Targeted Attacks against Businesses. The Survey is from Security Vendor, Kaspersky Lab and Marketing Research Firm, B2B International and Fields Responses from 3,900 Respondents from 27 Countries. According to the Report, 94% of Businesses Have Encountered at Least One Cyber-Security Incident in the Past 12 Months, with 12% of the Countries Having Experienced at Least One Targeted Attack. In the 2012 and 2013 Surveys, the Percentage of Companies Experiencing Targeted Attacks was 9. This Uptick is Bad News for Businesses, as Damages from One Successful Targeted Attack, Could Cost a Company as Much as $2.54 Million for Enterprises and $84,000 for Small Businesses, the Report States.

"The popularity of targeted attacks among malicious users varies depending on a company's field of businesses", according to the Report. "Organizations in the government and defense sector encountered targeted attacks most frequently. Some 18 percent of respondents representing those types of companies reported having run into at least one targeted attack. Remarkably, targeted attacks in that sector take place even more frequently than DDoS [distributed denial-of-service] attacks, for example, which were named by 12 percent of respondents in the government and defense sector." Targeted Attacks were also Reported by 17% of the Telecom Industry and 16% of those in the Financial Sector, according to the Survey. Sixteen Percent of Companies in the Transportation and Logistics Sector, also Reported Experiencing Targeted Attacks. Overall, Targeted Attacks were Reported to be Responsible for 8% of Data Leaks.

"The survey results clearly indicate that many businesses now recognize that the threat of a targeted attack is very real and could be very harmful for their organization", Said Chris Doggett, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab, North America, in a Statement. "However, we are seeing that the number of companies that are actually taking that knowledge and turning it into an action to protect their organization from such attacks is still alarmingly low", Said Doggett. "With major breaches being reported regularly now, it is critical for businesses of all sizes to make protection of their IT infrastructure their top priority, especially given the damages that arise from each successful targeted attack."

The Survey Can be Read, here:

Attackers Exploit "ShellShock" via SMTP to Distribute Malware

The GNU Bash Vulnerability Known as 'ShellShock', is Being Leveraged by Cybercriminals as Part of a Botnet Campaign, Researchers Reported on Friday. This Isn't the 1st Time 'ShellShock' has been Exploited in the Wild but, these Attacks are Interesting for Several Reasons. First, the Attackers are Targeting the 'Simple Mail Transfer Protocol' (SMTP), which is Used for Email Transmission. According to 'Binary Defense Systems' (BDS), a New Sister Company of the Security Firm, TrustedSec, the Initial 'ShellShock' Payload is included in the Subject, from, to Fields and the Body of the Email Sent Out by the Attackers. If the Malicious Code is Executed Successfully, a Perl-Based IRC Bot is Downloaded to the Victim's System and the Infected SMTP Gateway is Added to a Botnet Infrastructure. "It’s unknown which product would specifically be vulnerable to this since Shellshock relies on system level calls and leveraging bash however it seems to be a fairly wide-scale delivery of emails across the United States", BDS's David Kennedy Said in a Blog Post.

Researchers at the SANS Institute Reported that, the Attacks Appear to be Aimed Mainly at the Servers of Web Hosting Providers. According to Kevin Liston, a Handler at the SANS Institute's 'Internet Storm Center' (ISC), the Malware is Designed to Execute Simple Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Commands but, it's also Capable of Fetching and Executing Other Threats. Belgian Security Consultant, Xavier Mertens, Stumbled upon One of the Malicious Emails in his Personal Email Account. The Email Came from an Address on, a Domain for Personalized Email Addresses that's Often Abused by Attackers, the Expert Told SecurityWeek via Email. The IP Address from which the Payload was Delivered to Mertens, is the Same as the One Seen by the SANS Institute. The IP ( is Associated with a Virtual Server Hosted at a German Hosting Company. The Server is Currently Down, Mertens Said.

"The thing about Shellshock is that any server running a vulnerable version of bash is vulnerable and can be exploited if an attacker can control something that is set as an SMTP variable. The server doesn't have to be directly accessible to the public", Martijn Grooten, Editor of Virus Bulletin, Told SecurityWeek. "The thing with SMTP is that email sometimes takes various internal routers. For instance, it may arrive at an organization's spam filter, which passes it on to a secondary MTA (mail server), which then passes it on to the server used by client machines to retrieve email from. It is not unimaginable that one of these servers uses a bash script that stores, say, the subject line of the email, or the From: address, in a bash variable. If it does and bash hasn't been patched, then these emails will result in the server execute the command - and in this case, add the server to a botnet."

Info Sources:

The Future of Oculus, According to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

During Facebook's Quarterly Results Call, Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Offered Some Comments on How he Expects the VR Headset Maker to Fit in with the Company's Overall Strategy and How he Sees it Progressing. Zuckerberg 1st Spoke of Oculus in his Prepared Remarks, Discussing it in his "10-Year" Segment, after Discussing Facebook's 3-Year and 5-Year Strategies. Given the Call's Audience -- Analysts and Investors -- it's Clear he's Doing this, to Tell the Mainstream Not to Expect Much from Oculus just Yet. However, Zuckerberg did Acknowledge that, a Limited Number of Games and Apps are Driving the Platform Forward and that, Developers are already Enthusiastic for it. He Acknowledged that, Oculus' Latest Prototype Headset, the Crescent Bay, Brings it Closer to Launching a Consumer Product -- which Echoes Recent Sentiments of Oculus' Own Execs. On its Unveiling, Oculus VR CEO, Brendan Iribe, Called it "much, much closer to consumer Rift". However, Even still, Zuckerberg Reiterated that, Facebook's Investment in the VR Company is a Long-Term Play for Facebook. "As I've said before, with Oculus, we're making a long-term bet on the future of computing", Zuckerberg Said. "Every 10 to 15 years a new major computing platform arrives... Virtual reality and augmented reality are an important part of this platform. Our efforts here will take longer to achieve their full impact but, we will prepare for the future by continuing to invest aggressively", Zuckerberg Said, Speaking Not just of Oculus but, also "It's still early for Oculus."

When Questioned on his Evolving Expectations for Oculus and Facebook's Strategy with the VR Company, this is What Zuckerberg had to Say: "The strategy for Oculus is to help accelerate their growth. They've got two products... Rift on PC and they're supporting Gear VR and the Samsung team on building the mobile version. I'm really excited about both of them. It needs to reach a very large scale -- 50 to 100 million units -- before it will really be a very meaningful thing as a computing platform so, I do think it's going to take a bunch of years to get there. Maybe, I don't know -- it's hard to predict exactly -- but, I don't think it's going to get to 50 or 100 million units in the next few years, right ? That'll take a few cycles of the device to get there. And when you get to that scale, that's when it starts to be interesting as a business, in terms of developing out of the ecosystem. So, when I'm talking about it as a 10-year thing, I'm talking about building the first set of devices and then building the audience and the ecosystem around that, until it eventually becomes a business." Of Course, Zuckerberg is Speaking here of the Broad Potential for the Oculus Platform as a Mainstream Computing Device; but, in Doing that, he's also Acknowledging that, it's Going to Take an Incremental Path Forward as the Technology iImproves and More Games and Apps are Developed and an Audience is Created for them. During the Call, One Analyst Questioned the Fact that, Facebook has a Much Larger Investment in R&D Earmarked for the Future and while CFO, David Wehner, Didn't Break Down What Part of those Funds is Earmarked for Oculus, he did Mention that, it will Continue to be a Strong Focus of the Company's R&D Efforts Moving Forward.

VIDEO: Nintendo is Making a Fatigue and Sleep-Tracking Health Device

At a Briefing Earlier Yesterday, Nintendo CEO, Satoru Iwata, Explained that, the Company was Now Developing a Device to Monitor Sleep and Levels of Fatigue. However, it Didn't Sound like it Would be a Wearable Device -- Even though it's the Done Thing. According to a Reuters Report, the Device Would Track you from your Bedside and is Currently Being Co-Developed with Resmed. The US-Based Company, Typically Makes Products for People with Sleep Disorders. It will Form Part of its New Healthcare Division Inside the Gamesmaker, Marking a Return to Wellness Hardware: Something it has already Touched on, Way Back, with the Wii Fit Board. For an Idea of What it All Could do, we've Added a Video from Resmed's Sleeping Technology. Exactly How this will Dovetail with our Tomodachi Life Village, Remains to be Seen.

Info Sources:

Yeah, Robots Like, "Pepper" or "OSHBot", are Coming to Take our Retail Jobs Too

Elon Musk May be Terrified of Self-Controlling Robots but, the Retail Industry is Clearly Hoping they'll Save Cash in the Long Term. Nestle, for instance, has Purchased 20 Copies of Softbank's Pepper Robot as the New Spokes-Droid for its Food Business in Japan. If Successful, then the Food Manufacturer Could Have Up to 1,000 of the Cute Yet Disturbing Devices Pimping Nestle Vending Machines across the Country. It's Not just Limited to Robot-Friendly Japan, either, since Lowe's has Announced that, it's Hired a Robotic Employee to Help Customers Find Stock in its San Jose Orchard Supply Store. The OSHBot Comes with a Pair of Displays, One to Bombard you, with Offers and Another to Let you Video Conference with an In-Store Expert Hiding in the Back. That Said, it's Hard Not to be Concerned for All of the Workers Who Could be Handed a Pink Slip in Favor of the Terminator's Doe-Eyed Cousin.

Info Sources:

quinta-feira, 30 de outubro de 2014

VIDEO: "LIMMEX" - The Analog Wristwatch that Can Call Emergency Numbers, Even Without a Phone

There are Some Smartwatches Out there, like's Puls, that Can Make Voice Calls without Having to Connect to a Phone. But, Have you Ever Heard of an Analog Watch with the Same Capability ? No ? Well, Now you will: the GPS-Equipped, "Limmex", Emergency Watch Looks like a Perfectly Old-Fashioned Swiss Timepiece, Except it has an Emergency Button you Can Press that Calls Preprogrammed Contacts. You Don't Even Need to Wear an Earpiece to Use it, as it Comes with Built-In Mic and Loudspeaker. In Case you've Saved More than One Number to Call during Emergency, the Device Rings 'em All Up in Sequence until Someone Picks Up. Also, the Watch Automatically Sends your Contacts a Text Message with a Link to a Map that Shows them Where you are. The Device is Currently Available in a Handful of European Countries with Prices Ranging from €449 to €749 (Roughly $570 to $950), though it Sounds like the Company Plans to Release it, in Other Locations in the Future.

Info Sources:

Facebook Will Pay You Serious Cash, to Make the Internet More Secure

Internet Security Bugs Suck -- Who actually Wants to Go Through All their Accounts to Change Passwords ? Nobody, that's Who. That's Why Many Tech Companies Have Bug Bounty Programs or Security Research Grants, such as Facebook's Internet Defense Prize, which has Now Upped its Reward to $300,000 for 2015. The Company Awarded its 1st Winners, a Couple of German Researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, in August with $50,000 for Using Statistic Analysis to Detect Malware Stored on Web Servers for Later Use. The Money was Awarded so, they Could Look into Finding a Solution for the Issue. Now, a Larger Amount is at Stake in Order to Entice More People into Finding Ways to Make the Internet More Secure. Other than that, the Social Network is also Launching an Open Source Framework / Tool Called, Osquery (Check Out its Code on Github), which you Can Use to Find Bugs in Operating Systems, particularly Ubuntu, CentOS and Mac OS X. In Fact, Facebook Wants you to Use Osquery to do Some Bug-Hunting right now and will Even Pay you $2,500 for Each Vulnerability you Report.

Info Sources:

Retail's Response to Apple Pay and Google Wallet, "CurrentC", Already Hacked

If the Retailers Backing the "CurrentC" Mobile Payment System Hope to Topple NFC-Based Technology like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, they May Need to Improve their Safeguards for your Data. CurrentC is Now Warning People in its Beta Program that "Unauthorized 3rd Parties" (Read: Hackers) Swiped Some of their Email Addresses. While that Appears to be the Only Information at Risk, the Loss Isn't an Auspicious Sign for a Service that's still Months Away from Launch -- Especially One that Touts Privacy and Security as "Top Priorities". It's Not Clear Who's Responsible, either, although the Platform's Architect, the Merchant Customer Exchange, Says that, it's still Investigating the Breach. Whatever Happened, it's Safe to Say that, the Incident Underscores One of the Main Concerns of Middleman-Based Payment Systems like "CurrentC". Handing Sensitive Information to In-Between Providers, No Matter How Careful they are, Leaves you that Much More Vulnerable to Theft.

Info Source:

Twitter's Data Deal with IBM, Helps Companies Know What You Like

Many of the Companies you Deal with, Like to Keep Tabs on What Twitter Users Say but, they Rarely Have a True Sense of What the World is Thinking -- are People Spreading Positive Buzz, or is there Trouble Brewing ? IBM Doesn't Want to Leave that Question Open so, it just Unveiled a Deal with Twitter that, will Put All those Tweets to Work in the Corporate World. Companies will Get to Use the Watson Cognitive Supercomputer and Cloud Services to Sift through Public Twitter Updates and (Hopefully) Make Smarter Decisions Based on the Internet's Zeitgeist. They'll Know Why their New Widget is Suddenly Popular in New York, for Example, or Whether there's a Lot of Gripes about Customer Service. Don't be Surprised if your Favourite Store or Device Maker Soon Becomes Much More Responsive to your Desires... Even if you've Never Voiced those Concerns to the Company itself.

Info Sources:

VIDEO: Get Ready to Start Seeing Video Advertisements in Your Instagram Feed

If People Weren't Too Happy with the 1st Batch of Sponsored Posts by Instagram, those Temper Tantrums Might Reach a New Level Soon. According to Adweek, the Facebook-Owned Imaging Service is Now Rolling Out Video Ads to Users' Feeds, Having been Quietly Testing them for the Past 6 Months. So, Starting Today, Don't be Surprised to Unexpectedly Run into a Random 15-Second Video while you're Trying to Find a Picture of the Next Great Brunch. As it Stands, Adweek Points Out that Instagram is Pushing Motion Ads from Activision, Banana Republic, CW and Lancome but, Chances are, you'll Start Seeing Others from More Companies as Time Goes on.

In the Meantime, Head on Past the Break, to Check Out What you Can Expect -- because you're Dying to Know:

"Assassin's Creed Unity" GeForce Video

The GeForce Website, Now Offers a New Trailer from "Assassin's Creed Unity", Showing Off GeForce-Exclusive Visual Effects the Stealth Action Sequel will Feature, Thanks to NVIDIA Gameworks Support.

Here's Word on these Features:

"Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself; here are some extra details about the features that flew by in that spectacular video:

- NVIDIA HBAO+ adds realistic Ambient Occlusion shadowing and shading around objects and surfaces that occlude light, with a higher degree of precision than other AO techniques, significantly improving image quality in every scene.
- NVIDIA Percentage-Closer Soft Shadows add contact hardening soft shadows throughout the game, increasing image quality in every scene.
- NVIDIA GeometryWorks Advanced Tessellation adds real DirectX 11-powered geometric detail to roads, rooftops, buildings and many more game elements, improving the realism and detail level of almost every game scene. Furthermore, with the addition of real geometric detail, enhanced surfaces and objects can be accurately shaded and shadowed by HBAO+ and PCSS, increasing realism and graphical fidelity by an even greater degree.
- NVIDIA TXAA temporal anti-aliasing eliminates the distracting movement of anti-aliased lines and edges, and also eliminates other artifacts associated with anti-aliasing. Edge anti-aliasing is comparable with 8xMSAA but, at the performance cost of 4xMSAA.

You’ll also receive the usual PC benefits such as improved textures, effects and assets, along with control options, faster framerates, the ability to render the game at higher resolutions, such as 4K, and the ability to play the game at a higher resolution on your HD monitor with new NVIDIA Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) technology."

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Xiaomi May Now Be the 3rd Biggest Smartphone Maker in the World

Xiaomi, the Smartphone of Choice in China, just had a Really Good Few Months Selling Phones. According to Strategy Analytics, it Reckon the New Phone Maker is Now the 3rd Largest Smartphone Maker in the World, Trailing Only Samsung and Apple. Its Shipments Have Tripled in the Space of a Year, Now Up to 18 Million in Q3 2014, while its Share of the Smartphone has also More than Doubled, Shifting from 2.1 to 5.6%. Those Sales also Make it the 5th Largest Phone Manufacturer (including Cheaper Feature Phones). While Samsung (24.7%) and Apple (12.3%) still Dominate, LG's Recent Good Run, Selling a Record Number of Phones, has also Moved it to 4th. Barring Making it Big in India, we're Looking to See What Xiaomi's Going to do Next.

VIDEO: "Project Ara" Team, Shows a Working Modular Phone

You'd be Forgiven for Being Skeptical of Google's "Project Ara" -- for All the Prototypes and Partnerships, actually Spotting a Working Unit has been a Gigantic Challenge. You Won't Have to Jump through Hoops to See One After Today, Thankfully. The Engineering Team at NK Labs has Shown Phonebloks a Real, Honest-to-Goodness Functioning Test Phone, that Boots into Android. It's Using an Old Jelly Bean Release instead of the Promised Android Lollipop Build and the Demo Doesn't Include a Significant Amount of Functionality but Hey -- Progress ! Whether or Not you've been Waiting for Proof, you'll be Glad to Hear that, Google Now Plans to Hold its 2nd "Ara" Conference on January 14th. The Focus will Primarily be on the Module Developer Kit but, there are also Plans to Show Newer Phone Prototypes and Provide the 1st Hints of How the Pilot Launch will Work. NK Labs is already Willing to Provide a Small Clue; it Says that, the Next Major Test Unit, Spiral 2, will Give Module Makers a Lot More Room for their Projects. In Other Words, it's Likely that, the Next Wave of "Project Ara" Components will be More Powerful than What you've Seen so Far.

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Nintendo Sold 600,000 Wii Us in Q2

Sales of Nintendo Hardware Have been "Gathering Momentum" in the 1st Half of the Fiscal Year, with the Wii U Shifting 600,000 Units in the 2nd Quarter. During the 6-Month Period Ended September 30, 2014, Nintendo Earned ¥171.4 Billion ($1.6 Billion) in Revenue, Up 12.8% Year-on-Year. Net Profit was ¥14.2 Billion ($131.5 Million), a Clear Improvement over the ¥0.6 Billion it Earned at the Same Point in the Last Fiscal Year. In Terms of Hardware, Nintendo Reported 1.12 Million Wii Us Sold, Up from 510,000 Quarter-over-Quarter. The Only Major New Release in the 2nd Quarter was Hyrule Warriors - Launched at the Very End of the Accounting Period - though Nintendo's Earnings Release Put More Emphasis on the "Steady Sales" of Mario Kart 8. Overall, the Company Sold around 5 Million Units of Wii U Software in the 2nd Quarter, Up from 4.4 Million Units in the 1st. Nintendo Expects this to Improve in the 2nd Half of the Fiscal Year, with the Launches of Super Smash Bros.

Wii U and its Amiibo Toy Line. The Nintendo 3DS Sold 1.27 Million Units in the 2nd Quarter, a Marked Improvement on the 820,000 Units it Sold in the 1st. 3DS Software Showed a Similar Rate of Improvement with 14.73 Million Units Sold, Bringing the Total for the 1st-Half of the Fiscal Year to 23.3 Million. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Tomodachi Life were Nintendo's Key Performers for the Platform, Selling 3.2 Million and 1.27 Million Units in this Fiscal Year, respectively. Again, Nintendo Expects Improved Performance When Pokemon Omega Sapphire and Ruby Launch Next Month. Nintendo Expects to Earn ¥590 Billion ($5.5 Billion) in Revenue and ¥169 Billion ($1.6 Billion) in Profit by the End of the Fiscal Year.

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YouTube's Smooth 60fps Video, is Now Ready for Viewing

YouTube Promised that, you'd See Many Videos Playing at a Brisk 60 Frames per Second this Year and it Looks like the Streaming Website has Made Good on its Word. While there were a Few 60fps Test Clips in the Spring, you Can Now See Regular Uploads with Silky Smooth Motion. There are Some Fairly Strict Conditions you'll Need to Meet, before you See these High-Quality Videos, Mind you. You'll Have to Watch in Chrome at HD Resolution and the Content Providers Naturally Have to Upload 60fps Content in the First Place. Provided All the Stars Align, though, you're in for a Good Time -- it's Not Often that you Can Watch VideoGame Replays at the Same Quality that you'd Get from a Console in your Living Room.

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VIDEO: Samsung's 3G-Ready "Gear S" Watch, Reaches the US November 7th

Itching to Strap Samsung's 3G-Equipped "Gear S" Smartwatch on your Wrist ? If you're in the US, you'll Only Have to Wait 1 More Week. The Cellular-Capable Timepiece is Now Officially Slated to Reach American Stores on November 7th, including Best Buy, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Just How Much you'll Pay Depends on your Choice of Network. Verizon Hasn't Mentioned Pricing just Yet but, AT&T will Sell the "Gear S" for $200 on a 2-Year Contract; Sprint and T-Mobile will Offer the Wristwear on Monthly Installment Plans that Have you Shelling Out Respective Totals of $384 and $350. That's a Lot to Pay in the Current Smartwatch Market but, this is also One of the Few Wearables that Lets you Leave your Phone at Home.

Info Sources:,-Brings-Gear-S-to-U.S.-Next-Week

"Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor" - "Lord of the Hunt" DLC Announced + Trailer and Artwork

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainmen, Announced Details on "Lord of the Hunt", the 1st DLC for "Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor", which is Coming to Monolith Productions' Tolkien-Inspired Action Game, this Year. Here is Some Concept Art Above and a Trailer along with Word on What to Expect:

"In Lord of the Hunt, Sauron has dispatched lethal Beastmaster Warchiefs to exterminate the monsters of Mordor. Talion will join Torvin the Dwarven Hunter and use his powers of Domination to turn these menacing new beasts against the Warchiefs, proving that Mordor cannot be tamed.

- New Story & Lore
– Discover more tales from Torvin, the Dwarven Hunter, as you work together to tame the beasts of Mordor and fight Sauron’s minions.
- New Nemeses – Face off against the Beastmaster Warchiefs, powerful new Uruks who have the ability to ride monsters and engage in perilous mounted combat.
- New Monsters – Ride into battle on the Wretched Graug to vomit toxin at your foes, stalk your enemies on the predatory Caragath and attack from the shadows or raise an all-consuming Ghul Horde. - New Missions & Challenges – New Beast Hunting challenges and collectibles open up new trophies and achievements.
- New Epic Runes – Make your Mount unstoppable with five new epic Runes that make you the ultimate hunter.
- Test of the Wild – Test your skills against the Beastmasters and mount your trophies on the leaderboard.
- New Character Skin – Lord of the Hunt skin transform Talion into the ultimate Beastmaster."

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VIDEO: Watch "Halo 2’s" Cinematics Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Back in 2004, we Marveled at the Stunning Cinematics which Delivered the Biggest Story Moments of "Halo 2". Ten Years Later, Get Ready to be Blown Away All Over Again. For Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Visual Effects Specialist, Blur Studio, has Rebuilt "Halo 2’s" Cinematics and they Really do Need to be Seen to be Believed.

Here’s a Video Preview of it in Action:

For your 1st Look at the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta and the World Premiere of the 1st Episode of Halo: Nightfall, you’ll Want to Join MajorNelson Website for the HaloFest Live Broadcast. Join the Festivities on XBox LIVE, and Twitch, Beginning at 8 p.m. PT on Monday, November 10th. Halo: The Master Chief Collection Arrives on November 11 and is Now Available for Digital Pre-Order and Pre-Download, here:

VIDEO: First-Person Horror Game, "Grave", Now Coming to PS4

Procedurally-Generated First-Person Horror Game, "Grave", is Now Slated for a PS4 Release in Addition to its already Announced Platforms of XBox One, PC, Mac and Linux. We Covered "Grave" When it Launched a Kickstarter Campaign in April, Where it Ended Up Succeeding its $30K Goal with $37,622. Based on the New Trailer below, it Seems to Have Come a Long Way since then and its Environments Look a Lot More Detailed. The Creatures Themselves still Look a Little Rough Around the Edges but, in a Way their Lo-Fi Appearance and Herky-Jerky Movements Make them Even Creepier and Somewhat Reminiscent of Early Stop-Motion Animation. Like Alan Wake before it, "Grave's" Foes are Vulnerable to Light so, you'll Have to be Resourceful in How you Use your Flashbangs, Flashlights, Gasoline and Matches as you Try to Survive the Night in this Spooky Desert.

"Grave" is Set for a 2015 Release.

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James Cameron on Virtual Reality: "Just a Yawn, for Now"

Veteran Film Director, James Cameron, is Not Impressed with Virtual Reality Technology like Oculus Rift. During a Recent Wall Street Journal Event in California, the Titanic and Avatar Director Said, he Doesn't See the Appeal of Oculus Rift, at Least Not Yet. "There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn, frankly", he Said, as Chronicled by The Hollywood Reporter. Cameron, like Other High-Profile Entertainment Figures before him, Questions the Broad Appeal of Oculus Rift. "The question that always occurred to me is, when is it going to be mature, when is it going to be accepted by the public at large, when are people going to start authoring in VR and what will that be ?" Cameron Said. He also Said that, he Hasn't Yet Seen a VR Application that Allows the User to do Much More than Look Around a Virtual World -- VideoGames Have Done this for Long Time Now, he Said. "What will the level of interactivity with the user be other than just 'I can stand and look around'", he Said, Adding: "If you want to move through a virtual reality it’s called a video game, it's been around forever". Though he Sounded Pessimistic about Oculus Rift, he Ended his Thoughts by Saying, "Offhandedly" according to The Hollywood Reporter, that "Oculus Rift is fine. It's good a good display and that sort of thing". Just this Week, Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Whose Company Paid $2 Billion to Acquire Oculus Rift Creator, Oculus VR, Earlier this Year, Said, it Could be "a Bunch of Years" before VR Technology Sees Widespread Adoption.

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Vimeo Plans to Offer Video Subscriptions

You'd Think that YouTube Would Launch a Subscription Video Service Ahead of its Rivals, Given its Love of Original Content but, Someone Might just Beat it to the Punch. Vimeo's Kerry Trainor Tells Recode that, his Company already has a Subscription Option in Development. He's Not Providing Details of How it will Work but, it Would be a Logical Extension of Vimeo's Successful 'On Demand' Option. Viewers Want to Pay for a "Whole World of Content" that Wouldn't Reach them Any Other Way, he Says. However it Pans Out, Vimeo Might Want to Hurry -- YouTube is Openly Toying with the Idea of its Own Subscription Service and it Could Easily Steal the Thunder from Competitors if it's 1st Out of the Gate.

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VIDEO: This is What the "Apple Watch" Interface Would Look Like on an iPhone

Although the "Apple Watch" Won't See a Release until 2015, this Isn't Stopping Able-Bodied Users from Embodying the Design into Other Product's UI's. Most Recently, it Looks like One Ambitious Programmer has Taken it upon Himself to Transfer the Unique Interface to his iPhone. The Inspiration for the Project Started When Programmer, Lucas Menge, Read an Article about Modernizing the iOS Home Screen by Utilizing the Design Language from the "Apple Watch". The Result, although Only a Prototype, is Fairly Impressive. The iOS Home Screen has been Completely Changed to Reflect the Interface that is Found on the "Apple Watch".

The Icons Span Edge to Edge, Making Better Use of the Screen Real Estate. Menge has also Made Navigation a Bit Simpler by Adding a Function that will Allow you to Zoom In and Out of the Icon Map just by Tapping in the corresponding Section or Tapping a Blank Area. While the "Apple Watch" Might Have been a Little Bit of a Let Down for Some, the Interface is actually Pretty Clever and Different When Compared to What is currently Available on any Other Wearable. For those that are Curious and Want to be a Bit Adventurous, you Can Find a Link to Menge's Code in the Source Link, below.

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Screenshots of "Outlook 16" for OS X, Leak on the Web

Office on OS X has been a Bit of an Unloved Child by Microsoft, as the Last Major Release of the Platform is Office 2011 but, that will Soon Change. New Images of the Next Generation of Office for OS X Have been Leaked from China and they Show Off the Completely Overhauled Interface. "Outlook 16", as it is Being Called until Microsoft Gives it an Official Name, has Shown Up on a Chinese Website that Clearly has the Build in its Hands, as they Have Images of Every Aspect of the Updated Email Client. While only Outlook Images Have Leaked, we Would Expect Screenshots of the Entire Office Suite to Hit the Web in the Near Future. The Updated Apps are a Refresh of the Existing Apps and Based on these Screenshots, we Don't See Much in the Way of Brand New Features for "Outlook 16".

There are a Couple UI Updates, including New Icons that are Flatter and Align to Microsoft's New Design Language. Outlook is also Said to be Better Integrated into Microsoft's Suite of Applications for Sharing and Storing Content with OneDrive / SharePoint. You Can Take a Look at the Screenshots below and there are More at the Source Link at the Bottom of this Post. From this Early Look, it Seems that, this will be a Modest Improvement over the Current Iteration of Office and we Expect Many of the Changes are Under the Hood that will Result in Better Performance of the Applications. While we Wait for Microsoft to Give us More Information about "Office 16" for OS X, this is about as Good as it Gets for Now.

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Enjoy "Outlook 16" Leaked Screenshots for Mac OS X, below: