Hearing sound isn't cool. You know what's cool? Seeing sound
Hearing sound isn't cool. You know what's cool? Seeing sound
Posted by Augustine at 8:41 AM
Sometimes, something is so big that you don't notice it for a long time. You suddenly realize you're in a massive crater, say, or that a building is towering overheard. Or, in this case, a gaping security void in the internet. And someone's been siphoning massive amounts of data out of it.
Posted by Augustine at 1:01 PM
New York-based Proxy Design Studio has given Gizmodo a first glimpse of its incredible, 3D-printed spherical gear called the Mechaneu, equal parts tactile toy and mechanical sculpture, a mind-bogglingly precise intermeshing of wheels within wheels.
Posted by Augustine at 1:00 PM
On December 4, when you were doing whatever you were doing, a gamer who goes by the name of Artio was apparently chartering a plane to fly her to a remote town in Alaska. Why? So she could make a particularly powerful move in the video game Ingress.
Posted by Augustine at 7:02 AM
HiSense continues its dedication to Google as an operating system with a slew of new hardware powered by Android 4.2.2 that features Google services for TV (the product formerly known as Google TV). The first is its new line of H6 Smart TVs powered by Marvell's latest ARMADA 1500 PLUS HD Media processor, an upgraded over last year's chip that powered many of the first ARM Google TV devices. Available in 40-inch, 50-inch and 55-inch sizes, the televisions come equipped with the company's Social TV and Cloud Services app, a 120Hz refresh rate, Energy Star 6.0 qualifications, 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM. The remote has 30 keys, a built-in air mouse with IQQI Smart Input and voice search functionality. For those who already have a TV but want the same services, HiSense also revealed the Pulse PRO set-top box, which has many of the same features as the H6 but, like the first generation Pulse, can be hooked up to any television set. Other features of the Pulse PRO include Netflix, Vudu HD movies, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Google Play, HDMI, IR, DLNA, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and Ethernet. We're not sure of pricing and availability just yet, and there are no pictures of the new hardware either.
Posted by Augustine at 6:59 AM
In the past couple of months, security researchers have discovered huge numbers of hacked passwords for popular websites posted to the net, available for hackers to use and abuse.
One of the things made obvious is how many people use the same, easy-to-guess passwords for their online activities, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
The most popular passwords are "123456" or the even more clever "123456789" or the ever-popular "password." (Here's a list of the top 25 passwords to avoid.)
After we wrote about 2 million more user names/passwords found on the net this week, we heard from computer security expert Neal O'Farrell, executive director of The Identity Theft Council.
He offered this excellent tip about how to create easy-to-remember passwords that are hard for hackers to guess:
Don't use passwords, use passphrases.
He explains it this way:
A passphrase is a short sentence that’s easy for you to remember – that describes something about you and your life, for example - but that a hacker would have a very hard time knowing or guessing.
For example, the phrase could be something like “I graduated from Notre Dame University on June 1st 2002.” Pick the first letter from every word in that phrase, making sure you include the upper and lower case, and keep all the numbers.
That would give you the following password: “IgfNDUoJ1st2002” That’s a massive 15 characters and includes upper and lower case letters and numbers. Change the “I” to the symbol “!” and now you’ve made it even harder to crack.
Posted by Augustine at 6:57 AM
MSI is jumping into the world of ultra-sharp displays today with the launch of two high-end GT60 laptop models. Both the gaming-oriented 2OD-261US and the workstation-grade 2OKWS-278US have 15.6-inch, 2,880 x 1,620 screens that make the most of 3D graphics and photos. As you'd hope, the two systems have more than enough horsepower to justify the high resolution. Each GT60 variant carries a quad-core 2.4GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive; the gaming rig relies on GeForce GTX 780M graphics and runs Windows 8, while its sibling uses pro-level Quadro K3100 video and Windows 7. Whichever PC you choose, you'll pay a lot for MSI's newfound visual prowess. The 20D-261US is available now for $2,200, while the 2OKWS-278US raises the asking price to $2,800.
Posted by Augustine at 1:55 PM
If Amazon discounts a product you just ordered, there's a quick and easy way to get your money back.
Reddit user poorsol posted an exchange with the retailer to demonstrate how easy it is to get a refund.
In a brief chat with an Amazon customer service representative, poorsol explains that the wine rack he originally bought for $28.52 has been discounted by about $8.
The rep says that the company will refund for any discounts made within seven days of your purchase:
We dug around Amazon's website and couldn't find anything about this policy, so we decided to chat customer service.
They confirmed that this is the policy:
Posted by Augustine at 12:07 PM
The United Nations now has its own drone program. Its first unmanned aircraft took off earlier this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Joining some 87 countries with the capability, the organization says it's just keeping up with the world's technological advances.
A daily run can be great for your health and fitness, but it can actually be harmful too if not done properly. Of course the right shoes are an important part of the formula, especially this sensor-laden pair developed by the Fraunhofer Institute which provide real-time feedback on your running style, and how to improve it.
Google's Auto-Awesome feature
Hey everyone, the government's tracking you. Quelle surprise. In what has to be one of the least shocking pieces of news to come from the Edward Snowden leaks, The Washington Post is reporting that the National Security Agency has been gathering surveillance data on foreign cellphone users' whereabouts globally, with some Americans potentially caught in the net. The database, which collects about 5 billion records per day, is so vast that not even the NSA has the proper tools to sift through it all. That's not to say the agency hasn't been able to make "good" use of it with analytics programs, though.
One such program, ominously labeled Co-Traveler, allows the NSA to determine "behaviorally relevant relationships" based on data from signals intelligence activity designators (or sigads for short) located around the world, including one codenamed "Stormbrew." That's a lot of jargon for what are essentially data hubs that collect geolocation information down to the cell tower level. Co-Traveler can locate targets of interest based on cellphone users moving in tandem, even if they're unknown threats -- frequent meetups with an existing suspect could reveal a close associate, for instance.
As we've come to expect by now, both the NSA and the Office of the Director for National Intelligence argue that this location-based surveillance is legal. Agency representatives tell the Post that the collection system doesn't purposefully track Americans. However, the NSA also says it can't determine how many US residents get swept up in these location scans; there are concerns that it's following targets protected by Fourth Amendment search rights.
Joseph Volpe contributed to this report.
Source: Washington Post
Posted by Augustine at 7:38 AM
The NSA / PRISM / MUSCULAR scandal sparked by Edward Snowden's leaks stained many tech companies, and tonight Microsoft has laid out several plans it hopes will convince customers (particularly non-US businesses and foreign governments) they're safe using its products and services. In a blog post, general counsel and executive VP Brad Smith lays out a three pronged approach of "immediate and coordinated action" against the threat of government snooping. It's expanding the use of encryption to cover any content moving between it and its customers, any transmissions between its data centers, and data stored on its servers -- all of this is said to be in place by the end of 2014.
In terms of court orders that may push it to reveal data, Microsoft is committing to notify "business and government" customers of any legal orders, and if it is prevented from doing so by a gag order, says it will challenge those in court. Finally, it's expanding the existing program giving governments access to its source code so they can make sure it doesn't contain any back doors. According to Reuters, this will put Microsoft on par with other Internet companies like Amazon Web Services, Yahoo and Google for how it treats data. Still, while that may help foreign diplomats feel better about logging into Outlook or Skype, there are probably a few individuals who will keep their tin foil hats on, Kinect cameras covered and cellphones off.
Source: Microsoft TechNet Blog
Posted by Augustine at 7:37 AM
Is Bitcoin the new gold?
Some former gold bugs certainly think so.
And its value has skyrocketedin recent months.
But many readers at this point are probably wondering ... what exactly is Bitcoin?
Robert McNally, an iOS developer at parking payment startup QuickPay, gave the following presentation to last year's Hackers' Conference in Santa Cruz, answering exactly that question.
With his kind permission, we have republished it here.
Posted by Augustine at 6:53 AM