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HTC says its One will be getting the Android 4.4 treatment soon

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 3:39 pm

Owners of HTC's flagship, the One, will be happy to hear that the company has just announced that it has released its Android 4.4, KitKat, update to carrier level testing. This means that each service provider who carries the HTC One will now begin testing the update with their devices, and if everything passes, the updates should begin rolling out shortly.

 

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There is no set time limit on carrier testing, and any one of them could reject the update if it does not play well with each network in question. HTC says that certification could come as early as next week, but even so, it could take weeks before the carriers stage an OTA update roll out. Unfortunately, European HTC One owners will have to wait longer for their 4.4 update as HTC had no comment on when it may roll out.

King of 'revenge porn' charged, setting future precedent

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 3:30 pm

The proclaimed "king of revenge porn," Hunter Moore, and one other person were arrested and charged based on activities related to the once-popular website, isanyoneup.com.

 

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"The moral of the story is that his revenge porn site wasn't a good enough business model, and that he had to engage in illegal activity to populate the site with pictures," noted Wes Hsu, assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California/leader of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crime Section.

 

Both Moore and Charles Evens were charged with conspiracy, seven counts of aggravated identity theft and seven counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, including efforts to hack e-mail accounts to steal personal information. Moore previously stated on numerous occasions that everyone on the site were anonymously submitted to isanyoneup.com, which the federal government claims isn't true.

 

Evens was reportedly paid $200 per week for his criminal activity, with the working relationship first starting sometime in 2011. Hearing that both men could face up to five years in federal prison is little solace for the people that had their pictures and personal information published on the website.

Neiman Marcus confirms the obvious: 1.1 million customers compromised

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 2:43 pm

High-end boutique retailer Neiman Marcus confirmed up to 1.1 million credit cards were affected during a security data breach that was disclosed over the 2013 holiday shopping season. Starting in mid-July to late October last year, malware collected credit card and debit card information, with 2,400 cards reportedly used for fraudulent purchases.

 

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Customer Social Security numbers, debit card PIN numbers and birth dates weren't disclosed, and online shoppers haven't been affected.

 

"The malware the thieves deployed is more sophisticated and an unusual and a new way of gathering data," said David Robertson, The Nilson Report publisher, when speaking with the media. "In the history of the fight between hackers and retailers and anyone who holds payment data, the attack has occurred at the data center. That's where the largest number of accounts are. That's where the attack occurred because that's the biggest payoff."

 

Retailers already must deal with a number of different online threats, but malware and security risks facing brick and mortar retailers is a newer issue.

Thermaltake-operated LUXA2 brand launches GroovyW Bluetooth speaker

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 10:07 am

LUXA2, a division of Thermaltake specializing in mobile products, recently announced the GroovyW Bluetooth speaker with wireless charging station.

 

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The LUXA2 GroovyW is Bluetooth 3.0-enabled and offers a sleek design, LED touch panel, speakerphone option, and NFC capability. The unit can reportedly play music for up to 15 hours, or 30 hours, when using a charging pad designed for any Q1 electronics, and easy portability. The LED touch panel provides instant access to volume control, play/pause and on/off features on top of the unit.

 

There is a growing demand for Bluetooth-powered portable speakers, as more consumers have smartphones and tablets - and tend to enjoy streaming music from online radio stations or previously downloaded music.

Syrian Electronic Army claims latest victim, plagues CNN's accounts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 7:44 am

Media giant CNN was recently attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army hacker group, with several social media accounts and one live blog targeted. The official CNN Twitter and Facebook accounts were temporarily defaced before CNN was able to regain control within a few minutes.

 

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The CNN Twitter feed featured the following tweet, for example: "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here... Stop Lying.... All your reports are fake!"

 

CNN was reportedly targeted for reportedly "viciously lying reporting aimed at prolonging the suffering in Syria," according to the group.

 

The Syrian Electronic Army recently targeted Microsoft's social media accounts, and continues to take aim at high-profile targets. Even if the compromised company is able to reset passwords and delete fraudulent postings, screenshots are quickly shared. The SEA also has hit The New York Times, Associated Press, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and other major global news publications during its campaign.

British government wants to throw file sharers into the slammer

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 6:35 am

British government officials are currently debating the Intellectual Property Bill, with the Prime Minister's staff looking to crack down severely on repeat file sharers. The government wants to begin removing Internet access privileges to repeat offenders that are determined to be 'persistent offenders.' In fact, increasing the maximum penalty for copyright infringement up to 10 years is a current topic of discussion during the meeting.

 

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"The discrepancy I mentioned is a source of great frustration," said Mike Weatherly, the Prime Minister's intellectual property MP, in a statement. "For example, the private prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft of Anton Vickerman, who was making £50,000 a month from running a website (SurfTheChannel) that facilitated mass-scale copyright infringement, saw him convicted of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to four years in prison."

 

A counter argument issued by Helen Goodman, UK MP, noted that it seems ignorant to distinguish between the teenager downloading music for a mobile device and organized copyright piracy groups.

 

National governments in North America and much of Europe are trying to combat online piracy and copyright infringement - with varying levels of success - and will continue to be a major issue in 2014.

Edward Snowden says he can't get a fair trial if he returns to the US

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 5:07 am

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) IT contractor now living in Russia following his high-profile data leak, won't return to the United States until current laws are changed. The federal Whistleblower Protection Act isn't applicable to former government contractors, which means he could face significant legal trouble if he returns to the United States.

 

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"Returning to the U.S., I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it's unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws," Snowden said in response to a question about getting a fair shake if he one day returns to the United States.

 

It seems highly unlikely Snowden will return to the U.S. unless he's offered immunity by the U.S. government, which is something the White House hasn't recently discussed publicly. It seems that the NSA and other government agencies would be able to learn from Snowden, but he won't touch U.S. soil just to face possible espionage charges.

 

Snowden is currently in Russia where he was given one-year asylum, and could eventually find his way to a country like Brazil after his stay in Russia ends. There are rumors private Russian companies are interested in hiring Snowden and trying to help him secure permanent residency.

Tivo axes most of hardware team, shifting efforts to software

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 3:41 am

TiVo has laid off its hardware team as the company continues to transition into cloud-based streaming services, while the home entertainment industry continues to evolve. The company didn't officially say the hardware staff was laid off, with company executives noted the employees were "reassigned," though didn't mention if they were given a new role.

 

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"We continue to balance appropriate levels of staffing and expertise necessary to support our existing hardware business and continue our innovation in hardware platforms and accessories with the need to allocate resources where strategic growth opportunities exist - and there is no doubt that we expect growth in the cloud-based delivery aspects of TiVo's business," said Steve Wymer, TiVo VP of Public Relations and corporate communications.

 

During the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month, TiVo didn't announce any new direct-to-consumer products.

 

If TiVo is axing its hardware division, it's hard to imagine the company will continue on making set-top boxes and other hardware - even if company officials claim they plan to.

Intel's Bay Trail NUC now on sale in the US

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 1:50 am

Back in September the internet was set abuzz with rumors of a new NUC from Intel that features the company's Bay Trail technology, and today the new Bay Trail NUC is finally available for retail sales in the US. At the moment, AVA Direct appears to be the only retailer selling the device though.

 

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The new DN2820FYKH barebones kit is based on Intel's micro NUC chassis design and features a Celeron N2820 processor with dual Silvermont cores clocked in at 2.4GHz. The devices GPU clock is set at 756MHz as well making it much faster than the Atom-based NUCs currently on the market. Users will need to add their own RAM (up to 8GB is supported) via a single SO-DIMM slot, as well as wireless card via a single PCIE slot. Users will also have to bring their own storage to the party with drives up to 9.5-mm thick being supported.

Raptr details most played games of December 2014

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 24, 2014 12:50 am

Today, Raptr unveiled its list of the most played PC games during December of 2013. While the the list is only comprised of data from those who use the social gaming service, the results are still quite telling. Dota 2 still claims the top spot as most played game, while WoW and LoL round out the top 3.

 

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Not surprisingly, Battlefield 4 sits at number 5 despite the server issues that still plague the game. Interestingly enough, the fifth spot is Starbound, a game that is not even available in the mainstream yet and can only be found on Seam Early Access. Counter Strike: GO, Minecraft, Warframe, Final Fantasy XIV, and Team Fortress 2 round out the top ten, while Skyrim, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft , Civ V, and Left 4 Dead 2 make it into the top 20.

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