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TweakTown News Posts - Page 25

Movies nominated for an Oscar see surge in Internet piracy

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Following news of which films are up for Oscars, online piracy of nominated movies increased 385 percent since January 15, according to the Irdeto piracy monitoring firm.

 

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Irdeto uses a crawler to monitor torrent downloads, and saw increased interest following the Oscar nominations - largely due to increased media coverage - with screener films sometimes leaked online.

 

"Hollywood screeners specifically accounted for a substantial 31 percent of the total illegal downloads tracked between January 15 and February 14," according to Irdeto, as published by TorrentFreak. "Six nominated movies currently unavailable for retail purchase on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD or legal streaming/download sites saw the majority of piracy coming directly from these screeners: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Wild, Selma, Whiplash and Still Alice."

Continue reading 'Movies nominated for an Oscar see surge in Internet piracy' (full post)

Lenovo will no longer pre-install controversial Superfish PC adware

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Computer manufacturer Lenovo will no longer pre-install the controversial Superfish adware on PCs and laptops, due to growing public backlash from customers. Cybersecurity experts warned Superfish potentially left them vulnerable, after injecting advertisements to browsers.

 

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"The way the Superfish functionality appears to work means that they must be intercepting traffic in order to insert ads," said Eric Rand, researcher for Brown Hat Security, in a statement to Reuters. "This amounts to a wiretap."

 

Lenovo must now answer questions regarding its use of Superfish, including how long it was pre-installed, and how much data was collected by the software. Superfish was installed on consumer PCs and notebooks only.

Continue reading 'Lenovo will no longer pre-install controversial Superfish PC adware' (full post)

Consumers still on the fence about fitness tracker wearables

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Fitness tracker wearables and mobile apps are becoming popular among consumers trying to improve their lifestyles while become healthier - but manufacturers want to drive interest in wearables.

 

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Most fitness trackers tend to vary in price from $49 for the Misfit Flash up to $250 for something like the Fitbit Surge - with additional hardware and software features being packed into the wearables.

 

Some of the mobile apps are just as accurate as their wearable counterparts, and using a smartphone is something more users are already familiar with. However, here is a bit of advice for consumers unsure if they are ready to make the plunge:

Continue reading 'Consumers still on the fence about fitness tracker wearables' (full post)

Samsung acquires LoopPay, preparing to throw down with Apple Pay

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Samsung has purchased U.S. mobile payments firm LoopPay, giving the South Korean electronics company a strategy to compete with Apple Pay. It looks like a new mobile payments solution will be introduced on March 1, during Samsung's Galaxy S6 smartphone event.

 

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Unlike Apple Pay, LoopPay's solution can convert traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems so they are able to accept contactless payments. Customers tap their smartphone next to a LoopPay card reader connected to the POS, with Samsung saying 90 percent of current systems support the mobile payment technology.

 

"Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal," said JK Shin, co-CEO and head of Samsung's mobile business, said in a public statement.

Continue reading 'Samsung acquires LoopPay, preparing to throw down with Apple Pay' (full post)

Swedish man behind BlackShades malware pleads guilty in US court

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

Swedish citizen Alex Yucel, 24, has pleaded guilty for his role in being co-creator of the BlackShades malware, which infected more than 500,000 PCs across the world. Yucel pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of malicious software, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.

 

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In exchange for his guilty plea, there is a stipulated agreement that will see Yucel receive a sentence ranging from 70 to 87 months. "I do actually want to plead guilty," Yucel said in his court appearance. "I knew that the program would be used to cause damage."

 

Yucel was arrested in November 2013 while in Moldova, and was extradited to the United States. As the operator of the criminal organization, Yucel hired administrators, marketing and customer support staff to interact with customers - generating upwards of $350,000 in revenue.

Continue reading 'Swedish man behind BlackShades malware pleads guilty in US court' (full post)

Strategy Analytics: Consoles far from dead, with PS4, Xbox One success

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

The gaming market is alive and well, with PC and console gamers both enjoying hardware and software titles available to them. Sony and Microsoft have a lot to be thankful for, as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox are enjoying appealing titles able to keep gamers interested.

 

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Both saw strong year one shipments - and the global install base for both consoles has been extremely successful.

 

"Despite reports to the contrary, the game console market is not dead," said Eric Smith, senior analyst for connected home devices at Strategy Analytics, in a statement published by Venture Beat. "Core gamers have moved faster to this current generation than in any previous generation. The main difference in this generation is that casual gamers who bought a Wii are remaining largely on the sidelines as free-to-play casual games and mid-core games on tablets and smartphones have captured this segment of consumers."

Continue reading 'Strategy Analytics: Consoles far from dead, with PS4, Xbox One success' (full post)

Report says eSports economy will generate minimum $465 Million in 2017

By: Chris Smith | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

With the total eSports revenues of 2014 said to equal $194 million, Newzoo's latest report claims that this figure will climb to a massive $465 million in 2017.

 

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This report was conducted in conjunction with Repucom, a sports market research company. Their findings also state that the number of eSports enthusiasts is likely to climb from 89 million as seen in 2014 to 145 million in 2017 - with another 190 million said to be included as casual viewers. Relating this to the general (public) sporting field, this means that eSports will generate a similar fan base to the traditional sports of Volleyball, American Football and Ice Hockey.

 

ESL is one of the largest names in the eSports world, conducting numerous tournaments spanning many different titles each year - seeing tens of thousands of live spectators and hundreds of thousands of online fans watching their every move. Their global managing director, Heinrich Zetlmayer, is excited by this news, stating "Reading through the first, most extensive and comprehensive report that puts some realistic numbers on the esports industry was a pleasure. Especially the comparison to traditional sports is a valuable insight that will help everyone understand better what this business is about and the potential it has."

Continue reading 'Report says eSports economy will generate minimum $465 Million in 2017' (full post)

Analyst: PlayStation 4 will outsell Xbox One 40% over next four years

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

The Sony PlayStation 4 will see its sales dominance over the Microsoft Xbox One continue, with the Japanese console outselling its American counterpart 40 percent by 2019, according to Strategy Analytics.

 

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Through the first 14 months, the PS4 has sold 18.5 million units - and is on track to mimic the same success the PlayStation 2 had years ago. Strategy Analytics believes the PS4 will sell 80 million consoles by 2019, a dominant lead over the estimated 57 million units for the Xbox One.

 

The PS4 dominated the Xbox One for most of 2014, and has recaptured its lead in 2015 - and predicting extended dominance wouldn't be overly surprising. Even if Microsoft is unable to catch up to the PS4, there is still plenty of room for both consoles to rack up impressive sales figures.

Slightly Mad Studios delays Project Cars from March 17 to April 2

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

Project Cars has been delayed again, with Slightly Mad Studios announcing that it will be missing its March 17 release for an April 2 release on Steam for the PC, and April 7 on the PS4 and Xbox One. In Europe however, it will release on all three platforms on April 2.

 

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The simulation racer was meant to launch last November, but it was pushed out to March 17, and now to April 2. The latest delay to the game has come from "final adjustments in the game that are required to provide fans with the best gaming experience they can have" according to publisher Bandai Namco.

 

Slightly Mad Studios' boss, Ian Bell, explains: "Moving the release date was not an easy decision to make, as we know our fans are eager to get their hands-on on Project Cars. But we know that these extra days will allow us to provide the best game experience that our fans deserve. We assure you the wait will be worth it when the game does arrive early April".

Beam hits Kickstarter, wants to transform your light bulb socket

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

As someone who has just started using the Philips Hue lighting system, I'm beginning to see the appeal of older things receiving some next-gen paint. The light bulb socket is a popular spot to play around with these days, with a new cool-looking device hitting Kickstarter, known as Beam.

 

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Beam is a normal projector, that fits into any regular light bulb socket, where it draws power from the socket to blast out images onto a flat surface. Beam, if it can raise $200,000 by March 24, will connect wirelessly to any smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, as long as you have the Beam app installed. Inside of Beam, will be a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, and 8GB of NAND flash storage. The team behind Beam has teased that the projector-cum-light-bulb will be intelligent, where profiles can be set up. For example, you can have it turn on and open YouTube when you walk through door.

 

The cheapest form of Beam is $349 on Kickstarter, or $399 for the regular model. The team is hoping to begin shipping some models by September.

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