Civil rights supporter Reverend Al Sharpton plans to meet with Sony Pictures Entertainment executives regarding racially-themed emails focusing on President Obama. SPE co-chairman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin shared emails, saying Obama could be a fan of Django Unchained, Ride Along, and additional movies with black actors.
The email exchange was leaked after the Guardians of Peace breached SPE, stealing emails, employee personal information, movies, and terabytes of other data.
Not surprisingly, Rudin issued a statement quickly: "To anybody I've offended, I'm profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused. I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive - and not funny at all."
The Belgian telecoms company Belgacom was breached by UK spies on a larger scope than previously reported, according to a Belgian newspaper. Belgacom was reportedly infected with the Regin spy tool, a suspected US and UK creation, and was likely targeted because of partnerships with hundreds of major telecommunications companies spread throughout the world.
"In its digital attack on Belgacom, the British secret service was able to intercept more communications than was previously realized," according to the De Standaard Belgian newspaper. "The security service was thus able to intercept communications from Belgacom's individual clients, from NATO and the EU, as well as from clients of hundreds of international telecoms providers. It is an unprecedented violation of the privacy of anybody who used a mobile telephone."
Conducting cyberespionage efforts has evolved into a vital tool for national governments, though the US and UK have taken interest in monitoring its political own political allies. The GCHQ likely targeted the company starting in 2011, but it took until 2013 for the breach to be identified, after Belgacom reportedly improved its cybersecurity defenses.
The German constitutional court will not allow the Green or Left parties to bring former NSA contractor Edward Snowden into the country to speak out about NSA spying. Instead, the committee of eight MPs might be sent to Moscow, where Snowden is currently living, but Snowden's attorney said the American will only speak to German officials if sent to Germany.
It's likely there are German politicians that don't want to allow Snowden into the country, as he's a wanted criminal - with a suspended US passport - and the US would be anxious for any of its allies to extradite the former intelligence analyst.
German support for Snowden reached a new high last year, after some of Snowden's leaks indicated the NSA spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other high-ranking government officials.
Automaker Ford recently introduced the Sync 3 communications and infotainment system for its newer vehicles. Microsoft's Windows Embedded helped create the software backbone for earlier generations of Sync, but Ford has chosen BlackBerry and its QNX operating system for the new Sync 3. Drivers and passengers of Ford vehicles released in 2015, starting with 2016 models, should notice better performance while using the Sync 3 system.
"Our focus on the Sync 3 system was to provide the best infotainment solution to the customer," said Alan Hall, Ford spokesperson, in a statement to the E-Commerce Times. "We listened to customers to meet their expectations and that's what led to these technology choices."
As newer vehicles begin to adopt more interactive infotainment systems, Ford - and other automakers - have been able to boost sales, as drivers blend newer features with smartphones, tablets, and built-in technologies.
In addition to providing an enhanced view of police interactions with the public, there is another benefit of police officers being equipped with body cameras: researchers will be able to study video and audio footage to help create more realistic training scenarios for officers. Researchers from UCLA will pull video and audio material from up to 100 officers at an undisclosed police agency.
"While we focus attention on things that escalated all the way to extreme outcomes, we know a lot less about other events," said Jeff Brantigham, an anthropologist from UCLA, in a statement published by the MIT Technology Review. "Things that went down a dangerous path and ended up being okay. Why did it end up that way? That would provide a huge benefit in terms of training."
The Obama Administration has promised $75 million in funding for body cameras, as many police departments across the country show interest in deploying them.
The Japanese absolutely love robotics, and the multi-billion-dollar industry is recovering with a strong boost by the country's government. Described as a "pillar" of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's effort to help Japan's struggling economy rebuild. Humanoids can be used in factories, retail stores, offices, retirement homes, and a wide variety of locations to interact with customers, residents and visitors.
"The adoption of robots tailored to the individual needs of each workplace is without a doubt a major trump card that will drive our local economies," Abe recently said, while speaking at the Robot Revolution Realization Council.
Longtime Japanese electronics and technology companies have struggled to keep up with rivals in the United States, China and Korea - and investing in robotics could help the country standout against other rivals.
Sprint launched its "Cut Your Bill in Half" plan earlier in the month, and is reportedly "pleased with initial results," a Sprint spokesperson recently told ComputerWorld. The premise of the plan is AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers that switch to Sprint will be greeted with unlimited talk and text - and can have the same amount of data as their previous plan, but at half price.
"The new Sprint Cut Your Bill In Half plan, seems to be a hit," according to technology analyst Jeff Kagan. "It has only been in the marketplace for about a week so far, but I have been hearing strong and positive opinions from customers in the wireless marketplace. Sprint has been struggling for years trying to find their place in the changing wireless industry. Suddenly they seem to be hitting the target with this new half-off plan."
The unique offering will continue until Thursday, January 15.
Russia has the largest number of mobile users facing attacks, as cybercriminals look to compromise smartphones and tablet devices. The top 10 as reported by Kaspersky: Russia (45.7 percent), India (6.8 percent), Kazakhstan (4.1 percent), Germany (4.0 percent), Ukraine (3.0 percent), Vietnam (2.7 percent), Iran (2.3 percent), UK (2.2 percent), Malaysia (1.8 percent), and Brazil (1.6 percent).
However, Kazakhstan is the only nation on the top 10 countries list based on infection, ranking No. 4 with 1.62 percent, according to Kaspersky.
Cybersecurity companies strongly urge mobile users to utilize anti-malware software to keep their devices more secure. And to download apps only from authorized locations, while keeping a lookout for potential fraudulent links in emails, social media, and other locations.
Apple OS X users in the United States faced a large number of cyberattacks, with almost 100,000 users being targeted, according to a Kaspersky Lab report. Not surprisingly, that accounted for 39 percent of total Mac OS X cyberattacks - largely because the US has the largest number of Apple product owners - as cybercriminals pay more attention to iOS on smartphones and tablets, along with OS X on desktop computers and laptops.
AdWare programs were the most popular method of attack against OS X users, accounting for almost half of the top 20 list, according to Kaspersky.
OS X users are strongly urged to install some type of anti-virus and anti-malware software solution, as cybercriminals pay more attention to compromising Apple products.
The state of Iowa plans to release an app so residents with smartphones will be able to show their driver's licenses in a digital format - but the technology has a number of critics. Drivers won't be required to go digital, and it's unknown how the digital driver's license can be used on multiple phones.
There is concern of potential snooping when a citizen turns over his or her phone to an officer, but app designers are mulling over a locking feature that password-protects the phone from being accidentally unlocked.
"Not just anybody can download [the app]," said Mark Lowe, Department of Transportation director, told ABC News. "We need to know that after we have vetted you, you're the person accessing the app. A thumb print or fingerprint or facial recognition or voice or iris image. We have to change this static thing in your pocket to something that is live."