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Mac-specific Trojan discovered, injects ads into webpages

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 4:33 pm

A new virus specific to Mac has been discovered by Russian security firm Doctor Web. Named Trojan.Yontoo.1, the virus injects ads into webpages on the infected machine.




The malware works by installing an adware plugin into any of the popular browsers then overlays an advertisement in key locations on webpages. Doctor Web says that this trojan is just another piece of a large adware puzzle that has been infecting OS X for some time now.




The virus can be caught in several different ways, with the most popular method being the use of movie trailer pages in which users must install a plugin to view the content. Other methods of injection have been media player enhancement programs and download accelerators. One indication of infection is that when launched, Trojan.Yontoo.1 will prompt users to install a program called "Free Twit Tube" or something similar.


No information has been released from Apple on a removal tool yet, and it is expected that Apple will just patch its XProtect.plist which already blocks about 15 previous malware attacks. The best thing is to avoid any installs from unknown websites or anything that has a funny name. Remember, Google is your friend and if you are unsure of an application's validity, a five second search could prevent an infection. Be smart.

Apple wants your iPhone to be more cat like and less like toast, new patent designed to lessen drop damage

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 3:29 pm

What do you do when you have more cash reserves than any other company in the world? You develop a system that magically flips your company's flagship phone into the proper position during a fall to lessen damage. Yes, Apple has patented a method that turns your phone into a cat.




US Patent #20130073095 describes a "Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device" that appears to use centrifugal force to reorient an iPhone in the event of a drop or fall. From the patent drawings, it looks like a small motor with a weight on one end would spin up and make the phone flip into an orientation that would lessen damage to sensitive parts like the screen.


The patent also mentions alternative methods that would deploy airfoils to levy aerodynamics to reorient the phone. There is also mention of cables that could be jettisoned to catch the phone mid fall, and other far out there concepts like gas canisters used in conjunction with thrust nozzles to reorient the phone. Below you can see more of the artwork courtesy of Apple Insider.


The patent states:


In one example, the protective mechanism is configured to alter the device orientation as the device is falling. This may allow a less vulnerable portion of the device to impact the surface at the end of a freefall. For example, the protective mechanism may be activated to rotate the device so that it may impact a surface on its edge, rather than on a screen portion.

Windows Phone 8 users get ad-free Pandora through the end of 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Six months ago Microsoft announced that Pandora would be coming to Windows Phone 8 and that its users would be treated to one year of ad-free listening. While it may be a little late, Pandora for Windows Phone 8 is finally here and Redmond kept true to its word.




The new Pandora App for Windows Phone 8 has been completely redesigned from the ground up specifically for Microsoft's mobile OS. Users are able to pin their favorite stations to Live Tiles, the main Pandora tile always displays track information, and the app can be put into "kid mode", which blocks all traces of explicit content.


Unlike the iOS and Android version, the Windows Phone 8 app does not feature song lyrics or artist biographies. Other than that, the apps are mostly the same. Microsoft has paid for nine months of free service in advance and it's users will not be subject to ads or the recently implemented listening cap. When the free period is over, users will have to subscribe to Pandora One for $36 a year or $3.99 a month.

BlackBerry 10 apps surge past 100,000 in total with 30,000 added in last two months alone

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 2:04 pm

Back in January, BlackBerry 10 launched with more than 70,000 applications in its app store called BlackBerry World. This morning BlackBerry has announced that those numbers now exceed 100,000.




In the past seven weeks, over 30,000 apps have been added to the BlackBerry World catalog, and more seem to pour in every day. This announcement comes with less than 24 hours before carriers like Verizon open up pre-orders for the new BlackBerry Z10 ahead of its retail launch next week on March 28.


Martyn Mallick, VP of Global Alliances at BlackBerry, said:


"The response to the BlackBerry 10 platform and applications has been outstanding. Customers are thrilled with the applications already available, and the catalog just keeps growing, now with more than 100,000 apps.


Top brands and application providers are joining us every day and are seeing the benefits of being early supporters of the new platform. We constantly hear from developers that the BlackBerry 10 tools are easy to build with and that we provide opportunities for app differentiation that they do not see on other platforms."

Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 1:40 pm

We're willing to bet that more than a few of our readers have participated in a video game beta test before despite the fact that they are sometimes hard to get into. Up until now, you usually had to rely on being selected to participate in those beta programs, but Valve is looking to change that.




Steam has just released a new service called Early Access that makes participating in beta test easier. Instead of filling out form after form, and email after email, Valve's solution is to let game developers simply charge users to be part of the beta. Developers can chose to offer the beta for free through the service or charge users full price for the game, which rolls over to your steam library when officially launched.


As of this posting, the Early Access program has 12 titles including some heavy hitters like: Arma 3 Aplha, Kerbal Space Program and Star Forge Alpha. It is still up in the air if gamers are willing to buy a game at full price months before release just to get access to the beta program, but something tells me that it will be a success.

Continue reading 'Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs' (full post)

Corsair unveil the Vengeance K70, provides gamers with a high-quality backlit mechanical gaming keyboard

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Corsair's current mechanical gaming keyboard, the Vengeance K60, is a great keyboard, but people do like their backlights on their keyboards. Well, Corsair has come to your rescue, unveiling the Vengeance K70 - backlit enabled.




Corsair have made the Vengeance K70 available in both black and silver, but have gone a step further with the backlight color. The silver aluminum K70 comes with blue backlighting, while the anodized black sports deep red backlighting. This will ensure both keyboards not only perform well, but look great while doing so. Each key is then individually backlit, with the added ability of having every key capable of being independently enabled, or disabled.




In typical Corsair fashion, the fun doesn't stop there, as the Vengeance K70 comes with alternate colored, contoured keycaps for the WASD and 1-6 keycaps, allowing for truly personal customization. The Corsair Vengeance K70 will be available in April for a suggested price of $129.99.

Battlefield 4 website launched, teases our first look at gameplay footage on March 27

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 10:35 am

Our first look at the Battlefield 4 website is here, which doesn't show much at all unfortunately. What it does tell us is that we can 'unlock the Battlefield 4 art' by having more fans log-in, the team at DICE will reveal 'more,' what exactly we'll see - is anyone's guess.




The website says to come back on March 27, which is when we'll see our first look at gameplay. This is what I'm excited for, hopefully it's not pre-rendered or scripted, and some actual, in-game footage. We can only dream.

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2013 enters its 6-year anniversary

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Contests & Giveaways | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 9:29 am

If you've wanted to know how it feels to be a world renown overclocker, MSI have officially announced their 2013 MSI Master Overclocking Arena (MOA) is entering its six-year anniversary. MSI are going with a "NO LIMITS" concept, that will "bring out the core spirit of overclocking and help to unveil MOA 2013".




In order to enter, all you have to do is share the "No Limits MSI MOA" video on Facebook, giving you an entry into the draw. There will be two people chosen as winners, who will receive MSI's latest Gaming Series motherboard. Here's what you need to know:

  • Only members of the MSI FAN CLUB fans have the right to participate.
  • Winners must contact with MSI FAN CLUB before Apr. 15th, 2013 to retrieve the prices, anytime later than the designated date will be disqualified.
  • The organizer reserves the right to review the eligibility of participants. Winners will be disqualified and prizes will be recalled if participant takes part in any act of obstructing the fair game principle with malicious computer programs or any other methods or if nonconformance with the activity rules are detected or reported by a third party.


For more detailed information, please visit MSI FAN CLUB page on Facebook.

YouTube sees more than 1 billion monthly viewers, nearly 15% of Earthlings use the video sharing site

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 7:31 am

Google have an announcement for us all today, with YouTube now seeing one billion monthly users. Using Wolfram Alpha's estimate of the 6.79 billion people on Earth, this would equate to roughly 14.7% of the world using YouTube every month.




The Mountain View-based everything giant has said that YouTube feeds out to nearly one in every two people on the Internet, a staggering number. Google were once criticized over acquiring YouTube in 2006, where they paid $1.65 billion for the video sharing site. I'm sure now, critics have their lips closed, and tears running down their faces. It was only last year that Google saw their first billion-view video, PSY's Gangnam Style.

Saturn V rocket engines recovered from the bottom of the ocean

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Mar 21, 2013 6:31 am

From the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, significant pieces of Saturn V's rocket engines have been recovered. What makes this a big announcement is the fact they've been there for over 40 years, and recovered thanks to a privately-funded expedition by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.




Bezos explained the site of the discovery three miles below the surface, more than 400 miles from Florida's east cost as "an underwater wonderland, an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo programme." The Amazon founder announced over a year ago that they had located the engine pieces that took man to the moon in 1969.


After three weeks abord a recovery vessel named 'Seabed Worker', Bezos and his team are on their way back to Cape Canaveral with their pieces of the Saturn V rocket engines. Bezos said in a statement on the expedition website: "We're bringing home enough major components to fashion displays of two flown F-1 engines. Many of the original serial numbers are missing or partially missing, which is going to make mission identification difficult. We might see more during restoration. The objects themselves are gorgeous."

Continue reading 'Saturn V rocket engines recovered from the bottom of the ocean' (full post)