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Study: Forty percent of those hit with Cryptolocker ransomware pay up

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 9:38 pm

Companies infected with the Cryptolocker ransomware are willing to pay up, with 40 percent of companies hit sending around $500 to recover files.




Cryptolocker is plaguing companies, encrypting certain file formats that cause workplace disruption, which is likely why companies are so quick to make a payment to cybercriminals overseas.


"If the results reported on the rate of Cryptolocker victims who pay a ransom are to be strengthened by further research, these figures would be extremely troubling, netting criminals behind the ransomware hundreds of millions." said Dr. Julio Hernandez-Castro, University of Kent School of Computing professor, said in a statement. "This would encourage them to continue with this form of cybercrime, potentially prompting other criminal gangs to jump into an extremely profitable cybercrime market."


Cryptolocker is extremely tricky because a malware scan will remove the malware, but the encrypted files stay encrypted until the countdown ends.

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HobbyKing launches RotorBits, a new line of multi-rotor parts

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Maker & DIY | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 9:15 pm

HobbyKing is the biggest name in the radio-controlled hobby world, and the company continues to blaze the trail in making the RC hobby more affordable. This week HobbyKing announced its new RotorBits lineup of chassis and parts for DIY multi-rotors. The RotorBits line revolves around a modular design that allows users to build a multi-rotor using common 10mm square shafts and molded plastic parts.




Kicking things off, HobbyKing has launched three DIY frame kits that will allow customers to easily build a TriCopter, QuadCopter, or Hexacopter in less than an afternoon. The modular system utilizes zip-ties as easily breakable fasteners. This allows the frame to survive light crashes with only cheap ziptie to replace. The company has a full lineup of spare parts, accessories, electronics, and mechanical parts for the RotorBits line and allows users to mix and match parts to build their own creations.

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Game of Thrones: The Mix Tape, yeah that exist and you can listen too

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 7:48 pm

Soundtracks are a staple in any TV show or movie production, but generally speaking they tend to follow the music trends of the time-period the production is portraying. For instance, if a movie were set in the 1980's you could expect to hear some hairbands playing in the background, or if the TV show was about Las Vegas in the 50's Frank Sinatra would most likely be played at some point. What one does not expect, is an entire album to be released about a TV series where the music and show theme are hundreds of years apart.




Today HBO unveiled a new album for its upcoming season of Game of Thrones which features 10 tracks from some of the world's most famous hip-hop artist. Titled, Catch the Throne: The Mix Tape, the album features songs from artist like Big Boi, Common, Daddy Yankee, Magazeen and more. Many of the tracks feature actual audio from the series, and are not as bad as I originally expected. My personal favorite is track number six: Arya's Prayer by Dominik Omega, but the entire album is actually quite good considering the time-period difference between the two mediums.

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Mercedes will offer CarPlay on the aftermarket for older cars

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 5:36 pm

Recently Apple announced its new in-car platform designed to give better interaction and control with a smartphone from behind the wheel. The system is called CarPlay and it has 18 car companies committed to the platform already. Mercedes is one of those committed to the platform.




One downside for users that are interested in this system is that it will only be in brand new 2014 and up vehicles. Mercedes doesn't want to leave owners of older models of its vehicles out. MB has announced that it will have an aftermarket solution for adding CarPlay available by the end of the year.


The aftermarket system will be able to display CarPlay visuals on the in-dash screens of select vehicles. Mercedes hopes to have it available by the end of the year. It's unclear at this point, which vehicles the Mercedes CarPlay system will work for. I would wager it would only be for select Mercedes cars rather than something you can buy and put inside any make of vehicle.

Google Barge drops anchor in Stockton for a few months

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 5:01 pm

We have been following the Google Barge for a while now. The barge was first spied sitting at its dock at Treasure Island in San Francisco. Google was forced to move the barge not long ago because it didn't have the proper permits needed for construction.




We learned last week that the barge would be moving from San Francisco to Stockton, California. The trek took the barge about 80 miles. Google's barge is now docked at a pier on Rough and Ready island in Stockton, California. Sources say that Google is paying around $10,000 to $12,000 per month for its pier.


Google has reportedly agreed to pay the port docking fees for a minimum of three months. The lease could be shorter or longer depending on construction needs according to Stockton port director Richard Aschieris.

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Canon recalls PowerShot SX50 HS camera due to allergic reactions

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Cameras | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 4:35 pm

Typically, when an electronics firm recalls a product it has to do with some components of the device not working correctly. I have heard of plenty of recalls for things that didn't work as promised, batteries that overheat, and other reasons. I haven't heard of a company issuing a recall due to allergic reactions.




That is exactly what Canon has done with one of its digital cameras. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is the camera that is being recalled. Canon is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on the recall.


The reason for the recall is that a chemical used in the rubber part of the viewfinder that touches the eye can cause skin or eye irritation. The chemical has caused allergic reactions in users before. The recall will affect about 14,000 units and Canon says users need to stop using the camera immediately and send them in for free repair.

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Stanford researchers create BeHop for better #Wi-Fi in crowded spaces

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Networking | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 4:07 pm

If you live or work in a building with a lot of other people that have their own Wi-Fi networks, you know firsthand that too many networks can cause interference for everyone and slow things down. A group of researchers from Stanford University is working on a new shared wireless network system called BeHop that is designed to make for faster wireless networking by sharing inside buildings.




BeHop is a single, dense Wi-Fi infrastructure that can be centrally managed, but allows individual users to manage their own portion like a private Wi-Fi network. Users on the Behop network will each get their own SSID, passwords, and other settings.


The big thing with this shared, yet private network is that it is set up using cheap consumer grade access points. The hardware used in the tests was provided by NetGear and runs custom firmware. The test system the researchers set up let the individual users name and secure their own networks just as they would if the router was in their room.

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Blocks modular smartwatch lets the user configure their wearable

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 3:34 pm

The way it works with most wearable devices today is that you simply buy one of a few available models and go on about your day. If down the road you decide you need more features, you need to buy a new smartwatch. A group from the UK is working on a slick modular smartwatch that was inspired by Google's Project Ara.




I think this is a very cool idea. The way the product works is that the user can choose from a number of blocks that contain sensors inside. These blocks let you start with a basic configuration and then add new sensors as your needs change.


The sensors appear to be part of the links in the bracelet of the watch. They connect simply using something akin to headphone ports you would see on your PC or smartphone. This would allow you to customize the smartwatch to whatever you will be doing that day.

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Mad Catz and Ouya announce content agreement

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 3:08 pm

Ouya started out as a project on Kickstarter that blew up and made huge amounts of money. Since the project turned into an actual product, we have heard less from the company and sales haven't been much compared to other gaming platforms. Ouya announced recently that it was making itself into a service that would be embedded in other platforms.




Mad Catz and Ouya have announced this week that they have signed a content agreement. The agreement will bring Ouya to the MOJO console that Mad Catz unveiled last year. Along with the new content agreement, Mad Catz has announced that the MOJO console is getting its price cut to $199.99 in the US.


Similar price cuts are being made in other areas when the MOJO is sold. The MOJO is the first device to add Ouya Everywhere. The service will debut on the MOJO later this spring. An exact launch date hasn't been announced. When the service does launch all current Ouya content and future content will be available on the MOJO.

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Tablet ordering and gaming comes to Buffalo Wild Wings

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Mar 7, 2014 2:49 pm

If you are ever in the mood for beer, whatever game happens to be on, and hot wings, Buffalo Wild Wings is a good place to find. You can even watch the UFC fights there on a fight weekend. If you have ever been in one of these places when it is busy, you know it can be hard to get your server to come to the table when you want them.




Buffalo Wild Wings has announced that it is now using tablets at all tables in 150 company owned stores around the US. The tablets will be rolling out to another 500 stores by the end of 2014 and then by next year all stores will have the tablets.


These tablets will serve many uses. Patrons to the eatery will be able to play games on the tablet including multi-player games. The tablets are called Beond and in addition to playing games, you will be able to make food and drink orders from the tablets.

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