Sony doesn't believe its PlayStation Network was hacked, despite a recent report from a hacker group that they "released a log of customer logins" of usernames and passwords for PSN, Windows Live and Origin. It's possible the user logins were repurposed from previous security breaches, so it would appear gamer PSN accounts are still secure.
"We have investigated the claims that our network was breached and have found no evidence that there was any intrusion into our network," Sony said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Internet fraud including phishing and password matching are realities that consumers and online networks face on a regular basis. We take these reports very seriously and will continue to monitor our network closely."
Even though data breaches are something consumers are increasingly more aware of, there also has been an increase in the amount of fake reported attacks.
It was an atrocious year for private companies and consumers when discussing cybersecurity, with 20 major retailers breached in 2014. Between the medical/healthcare, financial, educational, business and government/military verticals, a total of 679 breaches occurred, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, and it has been extremely difficult to try to defend against these increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.
"The markets react to a market opportunity," said David Burg, PwC Global and US advisory cybersecurity head. "One of the problem is it's hard to secure the enterprise absolutely. So one of the reasons there is a flood of venture capital money into the space is because investors see an opportunity for innovation to solve some of these hard problems that exist out there."
However, investors and private companies are finding a lucrative opportunity to create next-generation security software, as cybersecurity spending is increasing. The industry is expected to see a 7.9 percent increase in 2014, up to $71.1 billion, with eight percent year-over-year growth estimated through 2016, the Gartner research group says.
Kohler, a well-known manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen products, has introduced the new Purefresh deodorizing toilet seat that can kill certain bathroom smells that most people want to hide. The battery-operated toilet seat has a $90 price tag and is able to intake air and pass it through an odor-eating carbon filter - and an optional scent pack.
The toilet seats were launched on Nov. 10, just in time to put under the Christmas tree, with carbon filters available for $6.99. The carbon filters and two D batteries required to operate the toilet seat should be able to last up to six months.
Not surprisingly, trying to develop an appealing odor-eating toilet seat isn't anything new, and it has been done before. Brondell launched a similar no-odor toilet seat, but it was pulled from the market after about five years.
The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes in the United States and Western Europe has led to the potential of malware infection from e-cigarettes made in China, according to recent reports. Cybercriminals have become more creative in their attempts to compromise devices, and ensuring devices from Chinese production facilities are pre-loaded with malware has become increasingly popular.
"The Made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer's USP port the malware phoned home and infected the system," according to a report posted on Reddit.
Trend Micro security consultant Rik Ferguson seems to agree with the assessment: "Production line malware has been around a for a few years, infecting photo frames, MP3 players and more. For consumers it's a case of running up-to-date anti-malware for the production line stuff and only using trusted devices to counter the threat."
The University of California at Berkeley demonstrated the PR2 robot in 2010, a robot designed to help take care of laundry -and the research is advancing nicely. During the demonstration four years ago, it took the robot around 20 minutes per towel, but it continues to speed up as research developments mature.
A large portion of the overlooked and mundane steps that can be easily done by humans, however, has proven to be difficult to assign for PR2. Steps ranging from locating dirty laundry and picking it up to transporting the laundry to the washer, putting in detergent and then placing the clothes into the dryer are difficult.
In Japan, where an aging population needs assistance as the age gap widens, Japanese researchers are developing robots designed to aid in daily chores and activities.
Encryption and security was a big part of the push toward Android 5.0 Lollipop, with the first version of Android that enables Full Disk Encryption (FDE) by default on new devices.
AnandTech has now discovered that this forced security actually kills read/write performance on some devices, testing a Nexus 6 with some benchmark numbers to prove it. The benchmarks, below, are using AndEBench, where FDE has a really bad hit on performance. When FDE is enabled on AnandTech's Nexus 6 smartphone, random read performance drops by 62.9%, while random write speeds slump by 50.5%. That's not the worse of it, where sequential read speeds are hit by a huge 80.7% drop in speeds.
FDE is only enabled by default with devices that ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop, so if you're upgrading to Lollipop, FDE isn't enabled by default, thus you're not affected by these slowdowns. When FDE is enabled, all writes to the flash are encrypted before before being saved, and then decrypted when they're being read and sent to RAM. Worse yet, are those who enable FDE with it requiring a key to decrypt, which is protected by a lockscreen password. This means people who opt out of the passcode on the lockscreen, still experience the performance hit on their Lollipop-powered device, without the benefits of FDE's encryption.
Acer and ASUS have been the two big manufacturers standing behind NVIDIA's G-SYNC refresh rate technology, with Acer and its 4K 60Hz G-SYNC monitor, and ASUS and its 1440p 144Hz G-SYNC monitor, but according to new reports, Acer is preparing its own 2560x1440, or QHD 144Hz G-SYNC gaming monitor.
The QHD monitor would use the same AU Optronics 'M270Q002' panel that is baked into the ASUS ROG Swift, which means it'll bring along most of its features, too. So we should see Ultra-Low Motion Blur (ULMB), 8-bit color with 16.7 million colors, a 1000:1 static contrast ratio, 350 nits of brightness, 170/160-degree viewing angles, and W-LED backlighting. Acer will provide its 'Eye Care' technology, which uses flicker free light, being better on your eyes.
We should see Acer unveil the monitor at CES 2015 in January I'd say, with a release schedule of Q1 2015.
The PC version of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is finally being shown off in the form of world-first screenshots from NVIDIA, unveiling the first 1080p in-game screenshots from the PC version of the stealth game. NVIDIA has listed "what's new" for the PC version of MGS V: Ground Zeroes, below:
- 60 FPS frame rate
- Additional deferred lights per scene
- Additional shadows per scene
- Higher-resolution render targets
- Higher-resolution shadows
- Increased detail over distances
- NVIDIA SLI Multi-GPU support
- Options to adjust seven graphics features (Effects, Lighting, Screen Filtering, Shadows, Texture Filtering, Textures)
- Resolution support up to and including 3840x2160 (4K)
- Screen Space Reflections
Better yet, NVIDIA has side-by-side screenshot comparisons between the PC and PS4 versions of the game, which you can check out
Far Cry 4 is now here, with people finding all sorts of easter eggs in the game, one of which is a new drug. The drug is called the "Oculus Spliff" which is obviously, a riff, on the Oculus Rift.
There's much more in Far Cry 4, according to a Reddit post, with there also being a "Go Bro" in the game, which is obviously a laugh at the GoPro action camera.
The legal battle between NVIDIA and Samsung is really heating up now, with Samsung firing back at NVIDIA with a lawsuit, complaining to the US International Trade Commission to block sales of NVIDIA's GeForce and Tegra products.
We don't know which parts Samsung took under consideration, but the dispute does name many third-party device makers that sell GeForce-powered goods. Video card designers would be hit first, with companies like EVGA now in hot water. Tegra-based devices would be affected too, which isn't as big as the GPU side of things, but it's still going to affect NVIDIA if it happens.
Bloomberg spoke with NVIDIA, which said that it hadn't looked at the complaint just yet, but the company "look[s] forward" to going to the ITC with its own dispute.