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Hacker avoids maximum 440-year sentence, hit with misdemeanor instead

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 day ago

The Southern District of Texas offered a misdemeanor plea deal to hacker Fidel Salinas, 28, just a few months after the hacker was charged with 44 felony counts of computer fraud and cyberstalking. Each count had a maximum 10-year prison sentence, totaling a potential 440 years in prison.


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Instead, the suspected Anonymous-linked hacker plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of computer fraud and abuse - and must also pay $10,000. He faces up to one year in prison when sentenced on February 2, 2015, and his attorney will argue the monetary restitution is enough.


Salinas reportedly tried to access the Hidalgo County administrative website, using a script that racked up more than 14,000 access attempts. The brute force attack led county IT administrators to be locked out of the system themselves.

Verizon Wireless finding ways to keep its subscribers away from rivals

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 day ago

There is fierce competition among the four major US wireless carriers, as Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all trying to retain customers - while attracting new subscribers - by providing a number of smartphones and plans. However, it looks like Verizon has found a new way to keep subscribers away from T-Mobile, this time adding fine print to its policy change related to early termination fees.


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Previously, the Verizon ETF agreement started at $350 and would decrease $10 per month immediately, but now doesn't go into effect until eight months into a two-year contract. The change won't hurt Verizon's financials, and might impact T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" promotion, which helps customers pay for ETFs when switching to the service.


T-Mobile has successfully gained at least 1.5 million net new subscribers over the past five quarters, at the expense of other providers.

Rising number of incidents between drones and aircraft, FAA warns

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 day, 2 hours ago

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received an increasing number of near-collisions between small drones and airliners. There have been 25 incidents between small drones and pilots, according to commercial airlines, air-traffic controllers, and private pilots. Furthermore, there have been at least 175 incidents where drones were spotted near restricted airspace or near airports.


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Most private drones are only a few feet in diameter, and weigh less than 10 pounds, but could be catastrophic if sucked into a jet engine or clips a plane's propeller, flight experts warn.


As more citizens begin to purchase and fly drones, the problem will only increase - leaving the FAA and pilots concerned it could be only a matter of time before a collision occurs.

New robot makes milking cows an automated process, easier for everyone

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 day, 2 hours ago

Work smarter, not harder - including on the farm, which are embracing robotics and technology. Some dairy farmers are deploying new robots that make milking cows more efficient and timely, freeing up time for workers to conduct other tasks. Two machines cost $640,000 and necessary barn renovations increased the total cost up to $800,000 before milking even began.



Now, farmers feed the cows at the same time, but they are able to be milked on "their own schedule," with help from the LBJ Farm Equipment Lely robotic milking machines. The machine is able to read a custom collar, identifying each cow, ensuring it is time for them to be milked - if a cow enters the stall too early, it is guided out of the machine.


The machine has a set of brushes that clean and air dry the teats before the milking process begins, then the machine uses lasers and a 3D camera to know the proper location of the cow. The Lely machine also tracks the cow's weight, temperature, and other vital information to help farmers verify each cow is healthy.

Continue reading 'New robot makes milking cows an automated process, easier for everyone' (full post)

Mobile shopping forces businesses to adapt to changing times

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 day, 3 hours ago

Smartphone and tablet owners have ushered in an era of mobile-centric activity that businesses cannot ignore, in fear of lost business and disengaged customers. Mobile sales have increased 25 percent year-over-year, up to $7.9 billion in 2014, according to the comScore research company, and should only climb higher in the future.


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"The numbers on how much time people are spending on mobile devices is staggering," said Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of the Carbon Media Group. "Whether you're a retailer, a brand, or a media company like us, I would say everyone is trying to scramble to figure out a mobile strategy."


Retailers must adapt, ensuring their websites and e-stores are mobile-friendly, or face customers turning to rival stores. Something that is overlooked, however, is that making sure email blasts can be easily viewed and shared on mobile devices.

Target breach last year may have been conducted by foreign operatives

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 day, 5 hours ago

A well-known Ukrainian hacker, Andrey Hodirevski, is reportedly linked to the massive Target breach that hit the retailer in late 2013. Hodirevski is a prominent cybercriminal and carder, and while no public information has proven his link to the breach, cybersecurity experts wouldn't necessarily be surprised if he played a role in the operation.


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"He has a high reputation and credibility among other carders and hackers," said Dmitry Volkov, head of the Group-IB computer security firm. "He is not just another carder."


There is significant concern of cyberattacks targeting retailers, exposing millions of customers, as companies seem to be unable to stop these types of attacks from happening.

Continue reading 'Target breach last year may have been conducted by foreign operatives' (full post)

Android 5.0 Lollipop update is starting to hit NVIDIA Shield Tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 day, 8 hours ago

For those who purchased the LTE-powered version of NVIDIA's Shield Tablet, you will be receiving your Android 5.0 Lollipop update any moment now. This comes in a week after the normal Wi-Fi model received its deliciously-named OS update.


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Android 5.0 Lollipop isn't the only surprise, as there are also updates to NVIDIA's own apps, with some new features. NVIDIA has added in layer support, custom color creation, and stencils in NVIDIA's Dabbler app. There are also streaming abilities to full versions of over 20 PC games that can be found in Grid, within the Shield Hub app.

Now is the time for Microsoft to close the console gap with Xbox One

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: 1 day, 8 hours ago

The Sony PlayStation 4 has enjoyed a significant sales lead over the Microsoft Xbox One throughout 2014, but after a price cut, Microsoft is reportedly closing the gap. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, now is the perfect opportunity for Microsoft to make the next-generation console market even more competitive.


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The Xbox One has some major exclusive titles: Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Sunset Overdrive. Game titles such as Titanfall are available for the PC, but not on the PS4 - and only boost the Xbox One's catalog even further.


It will be telling to see how each company does after the holidays, with consumers expected to open up their wallets to spend on gaming hardware and software this year, analysts predict.

James Cameron says you'll 's**t yourself' over the Avatar sequels

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 1 day, 9 hours ago

James Cameron is ramping up the excitement for his Avatar sequels, of which there are three coming out back-to-back starting December 2016 through to December 2018.


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Cameron has come out talking about the Avatar sequels to Empire Magazine, where he said: "I can tell you one thing about them. They're gonna be bitchin'. You will shit yourself with your mouth wide open". Cameron has been working on the Avatar sequels for five years now, without starting production yet, so this is really saying something. He talked about the frame rate of the movie too, where he said he won't be shooting at 60FPS or 120FPS, but will shoot at 48FPS.


He continued: "My thinking at the time was that 60 [FPS] might be a better segue to the video market. I'll be plugging into a system that's a little more mature, so it makes sense for me to do 48 frames at this point".

Google Now receives ability to countdown the time to an special event

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: 1 day, 9 hours ago

Google has just updated Google Now, which is now capable of providing a countdown timer to your important event. This might be reminding to brush your teeth, or a doctors appointment, or even your own wedding.


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Android Police discovered the new ability of Google Now, with the countdown timers reportedly being part of your reminders. As it stands, these reminders aren't tied to the Calendar right now, so you can't add the doctors appointment into your calendar, and have Google Now remind you of it. Although, you could create a countdown timer separately.


Android Police explains: "Basically, if you have a reminder related to an event Google knows about (like Christmas, for instance), Google will pick up on that and - on your reminder card - serve you a countdown. The functionality doesn't seem to work with things like birthdays yet, so it probably won't work with any personally-connected events, but it does work with events that Google as a service recognizes, like holidays".

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