The Internet of Things (IoT) captured a lot of headlines during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month, and security will remain a major issue for early adopters. The idea that connected household items can access the Internet provides great opportunity for enhanced services - but provides cybercriminals an access point to compromise new products.
Cybersecurity companies are aware of the great potential of IoT and connected devices, but understand they must scramble to defend an entirely new ecosystem that seems poised to boom.
"If people are worried about Facebook and Google storing your data today, wait until you see what is coming with IoT in next 2-5 years," said Ed Montgomery, Marketing Manager at F-Secure, via Tweet.
It looks like Activision is preparing for the unveiling of the next entry into the Call of Duty franchise with Call of Duty: World at War II. The publisher will reportedly unveil the new game on May 4 according to an alleged promotional poster for the gmae.
While Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare took gamers into the future with some next-gen weapons, exosuits and more, World at War II will bring things back to reality, and history. Anonymous Protection leaked out the reveal date, which is May 4 at 10AM PDT/1PM EDT. It makes sense, as Activision unveiled the first look at Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on May 1 last year.
Treyarch will likely be the studio behind the development of the game, handing off the yearly Call of Duty game torch from Sledgehammer.
Wearable products will invade the consumer and business markets in the coming years, but will take patience from manufacturers and buyers. There is a lot of confusion regarding the current wearable market, as there is a clutter of different products, multiple platforms, and rather uneven marketing efforts from manufacturers.
Integrating faster and more powerful hardware doesn't seem to be a problem for wearables, but manufacturers are now trying to create more visually appealing products. Early generations of consumer wearables were rather bulky and didn't seem to be fashionable at all, though that is beginning to change.
Wearables were quite popular during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with many new product announcements and public launches. However, analysts still are unsure what to make of the industry, even though they expect it to rapidly grow in the coming years.
Many first-time drone pilots are taking to the skies in the United States, and that has increased safety concerns regarding drone crashes. One such concern is a "flyaway" when the small drones catch a jet stream and simply blow away - and pilots are unaware of how to regain control of the flying craft.
Most consumer drones weigh around 2.2 pounds, and if it was being flown at 400 feet, can yield more than 900 pounds of force if it slammed straight into the ground.
"There's just too many people that just have no idea what they're doing flying with their cool cameras," said Bill Stockwell, drone flight instructor at McHenry County Community College, in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. "I fly a competitive 7-foot helicopter that goes about 140 mph. If it was flying at 400 feet, which is legal, it would hit the ground with 2,200 pounds of force. Can you imagine what that would feel like?"
The four major wireless carriers in the United States are engaged in a war for new subscribers, with an increased level of poaching taking place. The increased competition has presented a great opportunity for subscribers looking to upgrade their plans, get new phones, or switch carriers.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T currently enjoy their respective positions as the No. 1 and No. 2 wireless carriers in the United States, but Sprint and T-Mobile are locked in a fierce battle for the No. 3 position. Sprint is giving current T-Mobile subscribers an incentive to jump ship, offering up to $350 to cover switching costs along with a minimum of a $200 trade-in for T-Mobile phones. The Sprint promotion runs until April 9.
Both companies also have an eye on the remaining one-quarter of US mobile phone owners using feature phones, with both fighting to attract them to smartphones.
Active Baby Boomers are aging, but are increasingly embracing the Internet on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other electronics - with 60 percent of adults 65 years of age or older now regularly using the Internet. Furthermore, 44 percent of smartphone owners 50 years or older access the Internet or check email every day from a PC or mobile device, according to Pew.
Mobile makers are finding a lucrative opportunity to market devices to a wide age group, ranging from children to Baby Boomers - especially as many older adults use devices such as tablets and e-readers for casual Internet use and reading.
"As Baby Boomers age into their 60s and 70s, they are showing a determination to stay current with digital technology's advances," said George Otte, CEO of Geeks on Site, in a press statement. "We see an increased reliance on using the Internet, but with more comfortable access models like desktop computers, rather than smartphones and tablets. It's within this segment that we see an opportunity to guide and help these Boomers."
Exploring Mars has proven to be a beneficial yet extremely tricky operation for NASA, with the Mars rovers helping yield a lot of insightful knowledge - and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory hopes to use the Mars Helicopter to add to exploration.
The Mars Helicopter would be able to travel up to three times the distance that either rover can travel in a single Martian day, along with pinpointing new locations for the rovers to explore.
The light craft could weigh just 2.2 pounds and measure 3.6 feet from the tip of one blade to the other - and the prototype body looks similar to a medium-sized tissue box. The JPL is currently testing the proof-of-concept in California, with no possible launch dates discussed.
Business leaders are paying attention to cybersecurity more than they were in recent years, but struggle to find methods to keep networks secure. Trying to determine what steps to take remains a complicated issue, especially with some companies discovering data breaches months after the initial incident occurs.
There are a number of potential problems for companies trying to keep their networks secure, as potential attacks originate from a variety of sources. Much focus is dedicated to preventing a breach, but business leaders also need to focus on the likelihood that a cyberattack was successful:
"The role of organized crime and government-sanctioned hacking will continue to thwart cybersecurity efforts [in 2015]," said JF Roy, CTO of TIBCO LogLogic, in a statement to TweakTown. "Breaches will continue to be discovered after the fact, which means that businesses must update their security and risk management plans to include incident response policies with contingencies for involvement of federal law enforcement."
Gamers have a lot to look forward to in 2015, and Microsoft hopes to blend its upcoming Windows 10 operating system with the Xbox One, so gamers don't have to be tied to a specific platform. Xbox chief Phil Spencer understands there may be some bumps in the road along the way, but feels gamers will benefit from the expected "symbiotic" relationship between the Xbox One and Windows 10.
" So I look at the opportunity to make Windows gaming and Xbox gaming kind of symbiotic with one another," Spencer said during a recent press conference. "And try to grow the number of people that are connected and the amount of content that's available on both platforms - [I feel is] a huge opportunity. I don't feel that there's some kind of financial motivation for me to keep things off of PC."
Microsoft wants to generate Xbox One sales, and hopes integrating Windows 10 into the overall gaming experience could help.
It appears the serial ports of automated tank gauges (ATGs) of almost 5,300 gas stations and fuel depots in the United States are vulnerable because they aren't password protected. ATGs are used to more accurately track fuel tank inventory levels, raise alarms, track fuel deliveries, and conduct leak tests - but people with access to the interfaces could cause problems, according to the Rapid7 Security Street blog.
It doesn't look like there have been any incidents of actual breaches, but shows the importance of password protecting connected technologies. ATGs can be accessed via serial port, plug-in serial port, TCP/IP circuit board, and fax/modem.
Rapid7 was made aware of the issue by Jack Chadowitz, founder of the Kachoolie security firm, and started investing ATG vulnerabilities since Jan. 9.