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Got Milk? Samsung does, with Milk Music, a free streaming service

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 7:27 am

Samsung has announced a new streaming music service is has dubbed Milk, something the company worked with Slacker to develop, with the service launching with around 200 radio stations, and over 13 million songs available.




It's quite unique, with a circular dial that is similar to analog radio dials, where you just slide your finger around the dial to "tune in" to various genres of music. Once you've found a station that you like, simply run your finger along the inside of the dial to choose difference channels within that genre.


Competing streaming music services aren't all that intuitive, so it's refreshing to see Samsung thinking outside of the box with Milk Music. Samsung's Ryan Bidan has said that there is a group of consumers that haven't dived into the mobile music market because current services are simply too hard to understand, with people not liking advertising with what consumers have used so far.

Continue reading 'Got Milk? Samsung does, with Milk Music, a free streaming service' (full post)

EA CEO looks at VR as a viable option for gaming, a fourth 'modality'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 6:33 am

EA's still fresh CEO Andrew Wilson has talked about the potential for virtual reality, where he has talked about using VR as a possible fourth "modality" of gaming.




Wilson notes three types of play styles right now: "Lean Back" experiences, where a player is using a home entertainment system. "Lean In" is where the player is using either a console or PC for first-person shooters, where they're physically leaning in and concentrating on the game, and "Lean Over" which is where the player is using either a smartphone or tablet.


Wilson sees VR as the "fourth" way of playing, citing it as "Get In", where a gamer would use headsets or "some hologram that evolves out of your living room floor." This isn't a full confirmation that EA is supporting VR in any form, but it's great to see them talking about it. We've seen Oculus VR secure EA's former Senior VP as its new Head of Worldwide Publishing.

Freescale Semiconductor lost 20 employees on Malaysian flight

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 5:29 am

Two days ago, Malaysian Airlines lost a flight that left Kuala Lumpur on its way to Beijing, with 239 people on-board. Freescale Semiconductor, an Austin, Texas-based company has come out and said that 20 "very important" people were lost on the still missing flight.




Mitch Haws, Vice President of Global Communications and Investor Relations said in a statement: "These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people. It's definitely a loss for the company." The 20 Freescale employees were mostly engineers and other experts who were working on Freescale Semiconductor's chip facilities based in Tianjin, China and Kuala Lumpur more efficient.


Freescale hires over 16,800 people, with the missing employees on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 representing 1% of its global workforce, but the loss is being felt through Freescale nonetheless. The company has been organizing transportation and accommodation for the 20 staff members' families, as well as providing grief counselling. One of Freescale's competitors, Texas Instrucments, tweeted on Saturday: "We extend our condolences to the families and coworkers of the @Freescale employees aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370."

Watch Dogs' drop-in multiplayer can be completely disabled

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 4:11 am

Ubisoft's upcoming open-world action game, Watch Dogs, was the topic of a recent livestream by the studio, where the company answered some fan questions. These questions included why the game was delayed, and how the drop-in multiplayer will work.




Danny Belanger, Watch Dogs' Lead Game Designer, said that players who weren't interested in unexpected drop ins from other gamers can turn the function off completely. Belanger said: "All the online activities are just part of the menu. They're a choice. But if someone is not into that .... they can totally turn it off."


One of the big reasons behind not wanting people jumping into your game is that they can hack you, where Belanger explains: "There's also something important called the shield. If someone comes into your game, they can't come in right after so you can't be spammed in that way - unless you become aggressive and you start going into other people's games. Then you really become available. But it's just a player choice in the end."

Continue reading 'Watch Dogs' drop-in multiplayer can be completely disabled' (full post)

Banks, financial institutions increasingly researching biometrics

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 3:21 am

Banks and other financial institutions are embracing biometrics as a next-level security platform, helping prevent against fraud and theft, according to a report published by the Global Industry Analysts (GIA) research group.




Fingerprint recognition is the most popular form of biometrics security, with high accuracy and relatively low deployment costs.


Most common biometric security tend to be fingerprint verification, hand-geometry recognition, speech recognition, and iris and retina scanning technologies. Each has significant advantages and disadvantages, leading some companies to adopt multiple types of biometrics. However, it's not cost-effective to install and maintain multiple layers of security, unless necessary, with each different solution needing a complex infrastructure.

Continue reading 'Banks, financial institutions increasingly researching biometrics' (full post)

Following the demise of Mt. Gox, Japan considers bitcoin tax

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 2:39 am

The Japanese government want to tax purchases made with bitcoins, following the public demise of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. Japan's national tax agency and finance ministry are researching methods to try and tax residents in Japan using bitcoin to make sell and make purchases.




Trying to find the appropriate manner to battle bitcoin has been difficult for governments - and trying to ban the cryptocurrency wouldn't be successful - and since it's not an official currency, many banks and insurers aren't yet interested in trying to protect it.


"However, many countries including Japan do not have concrete frameworks to levy taxes (on bitcoin transactions),"the Japanese newspaper reported.

Continue reading 'Following the demise of Mt. Gox, Japan considers bitcoin tax' (full post)

Privacy groups asks FTC to block WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 1:22 am

According to two privacy groups who filed a complaint against Whatapp's acquisition to the Federal Trade Commission, it is alleged that the proposed sale will violate privacy of many users. According to Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Center for Digital Democracy, the 'unfair and deceptive practices of Facebook are not compatible with Whatsapp's privacy policy. Many WhatsApp users agree the same.




The complaint states that Facebook has a history of violating its user's privacy by changing its privacy policy from time-to-time.


EPIC does have a history of complaints that was accepted by the FTC. FTC took action against Google Buzz, Facebook's privacy change settings and Microsoft Passport in the past as per the complaints filed by the group.

Continue reading 'Privacy groups asks FTC to block WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook' (full post)

Microsoft reiterates its commitment to Xbox, is 'extremely committed'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 12:44 am

Now that Stephen Elop, the former boss of Nokia, is running Microsoft's Xbox division, the company has reiterated that it is dedicated to Xbox. Microsoft Game Studios' Phil Spencer spilled the beans on how the company was still fully committed to its console in his SXSW Gaming panel.




Spencer said: "In a funny way, our job is to create great games on Xbox, on Windows, on Windows Phone, and the stuff that happens above the studios is kind of just 'stuff' to a lot of the studios, which I think is the right way." The Microsoft Games Studio boss added: "They're still driven by the creative juices inside the studios to make great things happen. In terms of Microsoft's commitment in the space, I know both Satya and Stephen Elop, I know them well. I've had explicit conversations with them about Microsoft's commitment to Xbox - they're extremely committed to Xbox."


"Xbox is a really critical brand for us as a company as Microsoft; when you think about consumers, what they love about our company, Xbox is one of the most beloved brands that the company has. We're in the middle of a good, competitive battle in the console space with PlayStation, which is great for the industry. And they remain extremely committed to us succeeding with Xbox, which is nice to hear, right? It's something that resonates well inside the walls when you're talking to the teams, or when I stand in front of Xbox fans, I want to make sure that they understand we are extremely committed to this product."

Cybercriminals show no shame, try to extort non-profit group

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 10, 2014 12:13 am

Most cybercriminals want to exploit vulnerable networks and make a profit as quickly and easily as possible - and that includes compromising non-profit groups, even trying to conduct organized extortion. Hackers recently hijacked the crisis line of The Bridge for Youth, a Minnesota non-profit aimed at helping homeless adolescents in the state.




It seems The Bridge was hit with phone spam that was able to hijack phone lines and Internet access - and criminals will hold the lines for ransom, in exchange for monetary payment. Instead of paying the criminals, under police guidance, they refused - and then redirected the line to an answering machine - and worked with other non-profits to set up a new phone line.


"We had to shut down our crisis number of 35 years last Tuesday," said Dan Pfarr, The Bridge for Youth Executive Director, in a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "The guys who took over our crisis line wanted money. We told them we work with distressed families and kids at the low point of their lives. That we deal with lives. We can't have abused kids or parents... calling in and getting a busy signal."

Continue reading 'Cybercriminals show no shame, try to extort non-profit group' (full post)

Mt. Gox faced 150,000 DDoS attacks per second, report says

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 9, 2014 11:15 pm

Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was under continued cyberattack prior to having its loot and source code stolen, enduring up to 150,000 DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks per second, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.




Cybercriminals attacked Mt. Gox by launching thousands of massive DDoS attacks to help cover attempts to steal bitcoins, which led to the Mt. Gox system to go down. Following the attack, Mt. Gox representatives announced 750,000 customer bitcoins were gone, along with 100,000 owned by the company.


Since its inception, bitcoin values have ranged from $40 per coin up to $1,100 in 2013, though is hovering around $610.

Continue reading 'Mt. Gox faced 150,000 DDoS attacks per second, report says' (full post)