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Security company FireEye lists most targeted countries, industries

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 10:34 pm

PC and mobile users are under constant threat from increasingly advanced types of malware, with attack servers handing out malware attack commands in 206 countries across the world, according to security company FireEye.

 

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The United States, South Korea, Canada, Japan, and United Kingdom lead all countries targeted with advanced persistent threats (APTs). The government, services/consulting, and technology verticals most targeted, as cyberattacks are increasingly used to spy on rivals and steal information.

 

"The increasing frequency at which cyber attacks are happening illustrates the allure of malware to those with malicious intentions," said Dr. Ken Geers, FireEye senior global threat analyst, in a press statement. "Across the board, we are seeing a global expansion of APTs, malware, CnC infrastructure, and the use of publically available tools to facilitate the attack process. The global scale of threat has put cyber defenders in the very difficult position of not having any clue where the next attack will come from."

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Bill Gates is once again the richest man in the world says Forbes

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 10:09 pm

Forbes has just released its annual report that list the richest people in the world. If everyone is accounted for, the list shows that there are 1,565 people on Earth with a net-worth of $1 billion or more, with the entirety of the list totaling $6.4 trillion. In 2011, The Atlantic reported that the combined wealth of the world was a staggering $200 trillion, meaning that this list from Forbes accounts for about 3.2-percent of the entire world's wealth.

 

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Microsoft's founder and worldwide philanthropist Bill Gates has returned to the top of the list with more than $76 billion in net-worth, while Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison round out the top five.Michael Bloomberg, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg make up numbers 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21. Carl Icahn, Steve Ballmer, Phil Knight, and Michael Dell made the top 50 with more than $17.5 billion each.

 

It's been four years since Bill Gates was last listed as the richest man in the world, and when you consider that he has already given away more than $28 billion through The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the staggering amount of wealth Gates has earned in his life is simply mind boggling. To put that into perspective, it would take someone who earns $25 per hour about 1,120,000,000 hours or 46,635,685 days, or 10,647 months, or 127,769 years of hard work before they would even earn the amount of money Bill Gates has given away.

Gartner: Global tablet sales soared 68 percent, Android leads

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 9:34 pm

Google Android tablets saw 127 percent growth in 2013 and reached the No. 1 position, as consumers and businesses embrace the mobile technology, according to the Gartner research firm.

 

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Tablet sales saw a 68 percent growth in 2013 when compared to the year before, selling 195.4 million units. Although iOS tablet sales grew during 2013 Q4, Apple's share of the market dropped to 36 percent - and will continue to battle against Android-powered devices.

 

The tablet market continues to mature, and the emergence of lower-cost models from well-known electronics brands will continue to put pressure on Apple.

 

"In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications," said Roberta Cozza, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value - beyond just hardware and cost - to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins."

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DICE officially addresses Battlefield 4's net code issues

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 8:07 pm

Today DICE released an official response to all of the complaints it has been receiving about issues revolving around Battlefield 4's "netcode." While the term netcode is made up by the community, the issues in Battlefield 4 are quite real and very much a nuisance. For some players lag, rubber banding, and pre-mature deaths are causing the game to be unplayable and it all seems to revolve around network connection issues.

 

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DICE says that it is currently working on problems ranging between faulty networking latency compensation, to glitches in the game-play simulation itself. Before DICE went into any of its fixes, it described how the game actually works. "The game receives updates from the game server and displays these to the player using a system called latency compensation - this system makes sure players move around naturally on your screen when network updates arrive. We have found and fixed several issues with latency compensation, and thereby decreased the impressions of "one hit kills" in the game."

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Keurig will use DRM in new coffee machines to stave off refill market

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 6:37 pm

Keurig's single cup coffee system is one of the hottest trends in both the home and office today, and as a result hundreds of third-party K-Cup refill brands have popped up all over the US and Canada. Much like the inkjet printer market or even gaming consoles, the profit is not in the main system, but is in the refills of coffee, ink, or game licenses. With refill competitors offering refills that are cheaper by up to 25-percent Keurig is not making as much money as it would like.

 

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It appears that Keurig is looking to remedy this problem in a similar way that the software industry has attempted to thwart off piracy. In official documentation from an on-going lawsuit between TreeHouse Foods and Keurig, the plaintiff (TreeHouse Foods) says that Keurig is working on a DRM system that would only allow its K-Cups and officially licensed refills to work with the system. While no information was given on exactly how this DRM system will work, I expect that it will be RFID tag based.

 

During its quarterly earnings call, Keurig's CEO confirmed that it was working on a system that will not work with unlicensed refill cups, and that the next generation of coffee machines from the company will be "game-changing." Industry analyst suggest that the Keurig 2.0 will launch this fall, and that if a DRM system is introduced customers can expect a rise in price for both the machines and the "official refills." What do you think about this? Is Keurig shooting themselves in the foot, or will officially licensed refill cups make you more apt to buy a Keurig?

Apple announces CarPlay, 18 car companies committed to use this iOS

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 6:15 pm

Today, Apple officially made an announcement about its brand new iOS specifically made for cars- CarPlay. The company first talked about its car iOS version during the developer conference last year and the cars with this Car specific iOS integration will be shown in an auto show at Geneva. For such project, it was important for Apple, Inc to sign up manufacturers so that the companies can incorporate the suitable hardware/interface setup for the in-car touch panel on the dashboard.

 

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Via a statement, Apple VP Greg Joswiak said,"CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car. IPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we're thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva."

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Recent leaks shows more Titanfall images, maps and modes

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 4:55 pm

Information and images from upcoming game 'Titanfall' is still being leaked. This time it contained a lot of information about the game which was present on the files of the BETA version of the Windows version of the game. The leak was done by 'FallenFusion' in Reddit's Titanfall sub-reddit section.

 

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The game's campaign will have nine matches: five rounds of death match called 'Attrition' which can be played as either Intersteller Manufacturing Corporation or Militia. There's also 'Capture the Flag' and 'Last Titan Standing'. The 5th game type is called 'Pilot Hunter' mode where killing every pilot (human) is killed, but killing the AI opponents would lower the time to earn titans and the ability to regenerate the titan core.

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Sands casino hit with cyberattack, customer and employee data stolen

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 4:36 pm

Customers at the Las Vegas Sands Corp. are at risk from a successful data breach on February 11, which stole customer Social Security and driver's license numbers, credit card and bank account information, and other confident information, the company said. Specifically, the breach hit the Sands location in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and it doesn't appear any other Sands locations were hit by the cyberattack.

 

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The casino didn't disclose how many customers were affected by the data breach, though impacted customers have been contacted. Following the breach, it took the casino almost one week to fix its defaced website, remove sensitive employee data, and relaunch the site.

 

From the company's website:

 

"We have determined that some employee and customer data at our Sands Bethlehem property has been compromised. We are committed to ensuring the security of all data that our guests and team members entrust to us, and are providing free credit monitoring and identity theft protection service through Experian to identified customers by the data breach."

 

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The casino didn't disclose how many customers were affected by the data breach, though impacted customers have been contacted. Following the breach, it took the casino almost one week to fix its defaced website, remove sensitive employee data, and relaunch the site.

 

From the company's website:

 

"We have determined that some employee and customer data at our Sands Bethlehem property has been compromised. We are committed to ensuring the security of all data that our guests and team members entrust to us, and are providing free credit monitoring and identity theft protection service through Experian to identified customers by the data breach."

Continue reading 'Sands casino hit with cyberattack, customer and employee data stolen' (full post)

LeakedTT: The next-gen HTC One gets outed in new comparison video

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 3:40 pm

With Samsung's Galaxy S5 having very little "WOW" factor everyone's eyes have now turned to HTC in hopes that the upcoming refresh of its flagship will raise the bar to something worth upgrading to. While several leaks have appeared in recent weeks, today is the first time we have seen an actual side-by-side comparison video of the new HTC One and its predecessor that was released last year.

 

 

The video shows the slight size difference with the new HTC One being 5-inches, as well as an aluminum bezel now wrapping the screen on the sides. Additionally, the headphone jack has been moved to the bottom of the phone, and a microSD slot is now present. The leakster in the video says that the new BlinkFeed is now "actually really cool," and he also calls the camera spectacular. From previous leaks, BlinkFeed does appear to be more refined, and since the update back in December, I actually like the current BlinkFeed. While I would prefer a pure Android experience, at least HTC is listening to its customers and tailoring its Sense UI to feature better functionality.

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Outgoing NSA chief General Keith Alexander calls for reform

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 3, 2014 2:16 pm

After being exposed by former IT contractor Edward Snowden last year, the NSA has the difficult task of trying to regain trust among the American people.

 

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It's not impossible for the NSA and federal government to earn trust back, but without a sign of good faith, people will likely remain skeptical.

 

"I think we need to step back, set a framework for discussion with the American people," outgoing NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander said during a recent Senate Armed Services Committee. "This is going to be absolutely important in setting up what we can and cannot do in cyberspace to protect this country. And from my perspective, that's going to be one of the big issues that we move forward. I think a precursor to that is getting the NSA issues resolved. We have to get those resolved because, ironically, it operates in the same space."

 

The NSA and President Obama's administration can promise reform and future changes, but it's likely a lot of people just believe the government will cover its tracks better. In addition to leaving the NSA with egg on its face, foreign governments accused of hacking and cybercrimes have leverage to say the U.S. cannot criticize anyone else.

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