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Steam Autumn Sales continue, Metro: Last Light is 66% off

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 2, 2013 7:31 am

The Steam Autumn Sales continue, with some great games dropping in price. We have Civilization V down from $69.99 to $17.49 - a huge 75% off. Payday 2 is 55% off, dropping from $29.99 to $13.49.

 

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Other big savings include Metro: Last Light which has dropped from $54.99 to just $18.69 - something I'm going to buy as soon as I'm finished writing this news. Far Cry 3 is a huge 75% off, from #34.95 to just $8.73.

Amazon's Cyber Monday deals are a steal, get some great, cheap games!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 2, 2013 6:37 am

Amazon is jumping in early with the Cyber Monday teases, with a huge set of games on sale for both the next- and current-gen consoles. The Cyber Monday deals start on December 2 at 3:01am ET and include:

 

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  • Madden NFL 25 - PS3, Xbox 360
  • FIFA 14 - PS3, Xbox 360
  • Battlefield 4 - PC, PS3, Xbox 360
  • NCAA Football 14 - PS3, Xbox 360
  • Need for Speed Rivals - PC, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts - PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 - PS3, Xbox 360
  • Ryse: Son of Rome - Xbox One
  • Forza Motorsport 5 - Xbox One
  • Dead Rising 3 - Xbox One
  • Saints Row 4 - PS3, Xbox 360
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix - PS3
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - PS3
  • Elder Scrolls Anthology - PC

 

You can get more information on the Cyber Monday deal from Amazon, here.

The code to US nuclear launch codes, until 1977, was just 00000000

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Dec 2, 2013 4:41 am

ry thought: the combination to start an all-out nuclear war with the world, killing billions, up until 1977 at least, was 00000000. The stupidly simple code was chosen by Strategic Air Command, in an effort to make weapons as quick and easy to launch as possible.

 

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John F Kennedy pushed for PAL (Permissive Action Link) encoding in 1962, which is a security device for nuclear weapons that is meant to prevent unauthorized arming or detonation of the nuclear weapon itself. JFK signed the National Security Agency Memorandum 160 in 1962, which required that all nuclear weapons be fitted with the security system.

 

Problem was, nuclear experts claim the military was worried that command centers and communication lines would be destroyed in a true nuclear war, which would stop soldiers getting the codes to launch nuclear missiles when they were actually needed. This forced the action of reducing the code to something that is very simple: 00000000.

Continue reading 'The code to US nuclear launch codes, until 1977, was just 00000000' (full post)

Black Friday console sales see the Xbox One victorious

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Dec 2, 2013 3:33 am

According to a survey from Infoscount, the most commonly purchased console from Target and Walmart on Black Friday, was Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One console.

 

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The AMD-powered console accounted for 31% of all consoles purchased, while its main competitor, the PlayStation 4, made up around 15%. The Xbox 360 took in second place glory with 30%, while the PS3 was another 15%. Nintendo's Wii U console came in 5th position with 6%, and the Wii took just 1% of purchases.

 

The limited availability of the PS4 could be why the Xbox One sold more during Black Friday, with Infoscount saying that the success of both Xbox console dominance "largely attributed" to its success.

China to launch its first moon rover on Monday

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Dec 1, 2013 8:35 am

While most Americans will be hitting up those Cyber Monday sales, China will be launching a rover to the moon. 3:30am on Sunday morning, a rocket carrying "Jade Rabbit" will take off, headed to the moon.

 

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State broadcaster CCTV, took to Twitter, saying: "The Chang'e 3 is set to be launched for its moon mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2." If the mission is successful, it will be a massive win for China, which hopes to have a permanent space station by 2020, and will eventually send a man to the moon.

 

All eyes are on China as we shift into the new week.

US Army develops a drone that looks like a bird

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Drones | Posted: Dec 1, 2013 7:29 am

If a drone is flying high in the sky above you, they can be hard to spot, but when you do see it, it looks like a drone. This might not be the case in another 5-10 years, with the US Army finding a solution to this: making the drones, look like birds.

 

 

Enter Maveric, which features a bird-like profile, with flexible wings. The drone is made from composite metal, and can fly at heights of 25,000 feet, scooting along at 20-65 mph. Derek Lyons, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Prioria Robotics, said: "There was a Special Operations requirement for a plane that had a natural, biological look - it wasn't supposed to look DoD-ish."

 

Prioria Robotics won a $4.5 million contract from the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force to make 36 of the bird-like drones for an urgent, undisclosed need. Earlier this month, training to use the Maveric began at the Joint Special Operations Task Force, with full-equipped delivery expected this month. One of the major benefits of Maveric is that it weighs just 2.5 pounds, and is capable of being contained in a 6-inch tube.

Continue reading 'US Army develops a drone that looks like a bird' (full post)

Researchers use NSA tricks to see just how much data it collects

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Dec 1, 2013 6:21 am

We know that the NSA's PRISM system scoops up unimaginable amounts of data, so a couple of researchers created an Android app to see just how much metadata is collected from a smartphone, which was compared to basic information on Facebook.

 

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The two Stanford researchers, Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, created MetaPhone, using it to see how revealing the metadata was. Mayer told MIT Technology Review: "Some defenders of the NSA's bulk collection programs have taken the position that metadata is not revealing. We want to provide empirical evidence on the issue.... Our hypothesis is that phone metadata is packed with meaning."

 

You can grab MetaPhone yourself, a free app from the Google Play Store, with the app capable of collecting call and text logs, and asks for basic information from Facebook. Early research points to the fact that the metadata definitely includes some juicy data on you, with early results showing that phone metadata can predict whether someone is in a relationship with around 60% accuracy.

French court orders Microsoft, Google to remove pirate search results

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Nov 30, 2013 11:18 pm

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have all been ordered by a French court to remove search results from 16 websites that host pirated materials. The case itself began in December 2011, with a handful of French organizations and groups that protect large companies like Paramount, and Sony.

 

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Local ISPs are being ordered to "implement all appropriate means including blocking" of these pirate websites. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and ISPs have two weeks to remote or block the 16 websites in question, which the court found were in violation of copyright laws, as these websites are "dedicated or virtually dedicated to the distribution of audiovisual works without the consent of their creators."

Battlefield 4 patch is coming for the PC next week, fixes bugs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 30, 2013 9:38 pm

DICE has promised to patch up the PC version of Battlefield 4 in a few days time, on December 2 to be specific, where the patch will fix the "one-hit kill" bug which sees gamers damaged from a single bullet multiple times.

 

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Of course, other bugs are squashed with this patch, with the usual crashes and audio bugs fixed. The patch is currently being verified before it's pushed out to the public, but it should fix most of the issues that people are experiencing with BF4. Speaking of BF4, we benchmarked it on Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire at 7860x1440, if you want to check it out.

Google Nexus devices are at risk of DDoS attacks through SMS messages

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 30, 2013 6:36 am

Bogdan Alecu, a system administrator at Dutch IT services company, Levi9, has discovered an issue that leaves Google Nexus devices open to DDoS attacks that would reboot the smartphone, or fail to connect to mobile Internet services.

 

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Alecu discovered the issue in all Android 4.x firmware versions of Google's Nexus, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones. If a Nexus smartphone was to receive the message, it would display itself on top of every other active window, and is surrounded by a semi-transparent black overlay that has a dimming effect on the screen. If this message isn't saved, or dismissed, a second message is received, which is placed on top of the first message, and the dimming effect continues.

 

These messages will hit the Nexus phones without a notification, so if they're being sent when you're asleep, or the phone is in your pocket, you'll be none the wiser. Most of the time, Alecu says the phone will reboot, and if a PIN is required to unlock the SIM card, the phone won't connect back to the network for hours. During this time, the phone is useless, as it is unable to receive messages, phone calls, or any other notifications.

 

Alecu is taking his findings to the DefCamp security conference in Bucharest, Romania today.

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