Small drones being flown by recreational hobbyists can be hijacked using malware, as a security expert found a backdoor in the Parrot AR drone. The AR quadcopter helicopter drone can be controlled by a smartphone, tablet, NVIDIA Shield and similar devices, but can be hijacked with the Maldrone malware.
Security specialist Rahul Sasi was able to infect the drone and could interfere with its navigation features. Once compromised, he could issue a kill command, or fly the drone under his command - opening the odor to potential invasion of privacy cases, or stealing an onboard camera/video recorder.
"In this we would show infecting a drone with Maldrone and expecting a reverse tcp connection from drone," according to researchers. "Once connection is established we can interact with the software as well as drivers/sensors of the drone directly. There is an existing AR drone piloting program. Our backdoors kills the autopilot and takes control. The backdoor is persistent across resets."
The FTC has ordered mobile phone provider TracFone to pay a hefty $40 million fine for throttling data for users with 'unlimited' data plans. This fine has wide-ranging implications for the mobile industry overall, as several carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, still have users with unlimited data plans. Neither company currently offers new unlimited subscriptions, but they still have to honor their plans that are grandfathered in from past agreements.
In addition to the fine, the FTC has ordered TracFone to provide refunds to customers who experienced data throttling. TracFone not only throttled speeds when customers reached two to three gigabytes of used data, but they were also shutting off customers who reached between four and five gigabytes.
The FTC issued a blunt assessment of the situation. "The issue here is simple: When you promise consumers 'unlimited,' that means unlimited," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Mobile gamers are spending a lot of time playing their favorite games, with more than two hours played per day in 2014, according to The NPD Group. The latest figures note a dramatic 57 percent increase, as consumers are even more comfortable using their smartphones and tablets.
Not surprisingly, kids are helping drive revenue, with kids from 2 up to 12 years of age spending the most amount of time gaming over other activities, according to the report.
"Continued mobile growth will stem from existing customers paying more to play, especially in the free-to-play portion of the market," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst at The NPD Group, in a statement. "A positive sign of consumer behavior trending this way is the fact that more than twice the number of app gamers reported making an in-game purchase than they did when we conducted this study two years ago."
Intel is refreshing their datacenter SSD line with new models that deliver faster write performance than their predecessors. The Intel DC S3710 Series provides 25% more write performance, topping out at 45,000 random write IOPS for the 1.2TB model. The DC S3710 SSDs come in capacities of 200, 400, 800, and 1.2TB. Random read performance weighs in at 85,000 IOPS, and sequential read weighs in at 550MB/s. Sequential writes vary by capacity points, reaching a top speed of 520MB/s. The DC S3710 is geared for high-performance computing, high data rate analytics, operational databases, and large-scale virtualization.
The Intel DC S3610 Series addresses the exploding mid-level performance tier, while offering faster random write speed with an economical price point. The DC S3610 comes in wide range of capacities, with 200, 400, 480, 800GB, and 1.2TB models in the 2.5" form factor. Random read tops out at 84,000 IOPS, and varying write performance (based upon capacity) reaches up to 28,000 IOPS. Sequential read comes in at 550MB/s, and sequential write performance reaches 520MB/s (depending upon capacity). The DC S3610 series also offers capacities of 200, 400, and 800GB in the incredibly small 1.8" form factor, but performance specifications for the 1.8" haven't been released as of yet.
In a order to easily organize and store photos in your account, Microsoft has added an Albums feature for their OneDrive service - claimed by some as a move to compete with popular competitors including Dropbox and Google's storage options.
Released this Wednesday through a company blog post, this addition will feature capabilities mirroring Dropbox's Carousel photo gallery app and Google Drive's built-in albums feature. Available through the iOS app now, the company has stated they will add Android and Windows phone support "soon".
It's also claimed that next month will see an addition of automatic photo import features for Windows 7 and 8 users, as already seen with Android, iOS and Windows Phone versions as of last July. This new feature will see a camera imports folder added, becoming the location for all automatic imports from both PC's and mobile devices - changing it from the current "All photo's" folder.
Complete with a 13-inch screen squeezed into a bezel that generally houses 11-inch offerings, Dell's new XPS 13 2015 is packed full of tech goodies including the new Broadwell U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a tiny 2.99lb weight rating and a 1366 x 768 resolution touch-screen.
Being initially released to the market at a tiny price of $800, some are claiming this model to be a MacBook Air killer. Touted by many at CES to be part of their 'best of' categories, with the vibrant screen, strong audio and configuration options helping describe why it's such a winner. Bear in mind that the touchscreen isn't part of the $800 base-model, however it's a great inclusion if you're that way inclined.
Comparing this to Apple's MacBook Air, you're looking at a starting price of $999 for 128GB of PCI-e based flash storage, an Intel i5 dual-core and 4GB of RAM. With the specifications sitting fairly close, you can't argue with a $199 saving on Dell's product.
In a bid to win back over the Chinese market, Motorola has returned with their new smartphone offering - the Moto X.
Said to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd by providing advanced customization, Motorola are hoping that giving users the ability to change the back panels on their devices will win over a large amount of consumers. Marking two years out of the Chinese scene, Motorola's new Moto X smartphone comes packed with a 4.7" AMOLED screen displaying at 720p, a Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 2200 mAh battery and Android 4.4.2 Kitkat as standard.
Although not the highest-rated smartphone component wise, we've seen that high-end expensive phones don't really fare too well in the Chinese market - which is constantly being dominated by domestic brand offerings.
Listed for a start-price of 3,000 Yuan ($480 US), we'll be very interested to see how it performs.
With smartphones now accounting for over two-thirds of Facebook's total revenue, Mark Zuckerberg and his staff have just published some extremely positive Q4 2014 results.
Claimed by the social media giant to make up for roughly 69 percent of total revenue, their total number posted for this period was $3.85 billion. This exceeded the $3.77 billion consensus estimate by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters and is a 49 percent rise when compared to 12 months earlier.
Just one year ago, mobile advertisements made up for only half of Facebook's total revenue, showing that the rise of the smartphone has been sharp and expansive. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was impressed by the results, stating "we got a lot done in 2014. Our community continues to grow and we're making progress towards connecting the world."
We've previously covered Dan Woods and his awesome Parvum chassis project named 'ARCTIC GOLD' - providing a white and gold color scheme matched with rigid tubing and some top-notch technology components. Well he's now back and has started work on another project - the 'STACKER MARK S'.
Set to be as impressive as other HAF Stacker mods like that of Stuart Tonks' beast, Woods has already gone about painting the full exterior of this chassis in a blue and white color scheme - setting it apart from almost any other case on the market.
With the internals being kept a secret, Woods has let slip on his Facebook page that this build will include custom panels, all painted in the same blue color scheme with white accents.
We will continue to follow this project as it progresses, Dan is known for making some killer systems and we believe this won't be any different. What's even cooler is that he will be selling off select projects once their completed, if you're interested in owning a super charged modded rig of your own.
It's been a rough few months for the CS:GO community, seeing six top figures from the North American and Canadian scene get pinned with match-fixing, a betting ring scandal and then a plethora of bans from almost-all major tournaments across the globe.
In unusual fashion, even Valve spoke up - damning the betting ring and match-fixing, personally banning the players involved from all future Valve major events.
One of the players involved in this scandal was 17 year old Braxton Pierce - gamer name 'swag'. Name aside, he first hit it big in the North American Counter Strike 1.6 scene where he competed in many top level tournaments at the ripe old age of 15, often surpassing many players 10 years his senior and proving himself as a major player to watch in the future.
He released a long-winded apology on his public Facebook page recently, admitting the match was lost on purpose, explaining that although only one skin was won by him - he was still in the wrong and that "the ban was necessary in order to set a precedent for future players to come."