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Crushing Brazil World Cup defeat against Germany breaks Twitter record

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 10:38 pm

Brazil's crushing 7-1 FIFA World Cup defeat against Germany has broken Twitter records to become the most talked about sporting event of all time on the social network.


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Out of 10 trending topics on Twitter, six were about the match, and the fifth goal of the match spurred 580,601 tweets in just one minute. 35.6 million tweets were sent total during the game. The previous record was held by another World Cup showdown - Brazil against Chile - at 389,000 tweets per minute, with the record before that held by 2014's Superbowl at 382,000 tweets per minute.


Some users pointed out Germany were scoring goals quicker than they could hash out their tweets, as the BBC points out, while mocking Photoshop pictures also quickly made the rounds. One tweet from user @tomcmmiller put a cheerful Angela Merkel in place of Brazil's famous Christ the Redeemer, and another showed the Redeemer weeping morosely, as pictured - credit to @WorldCupProbs.

Security experts use anti-malware, anti-virus to defend against APTs

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 9:10 pm

Most companies combat advanced persistent threats (APTs) using anti-virus and anti-malware security software, according to the "Advanced Persistent Threat Awareness" report released by the ISACA non-profit information security group. The study found 96 percent of survey participants note AV or anti-malware solutions as the most popular option - with 60 percent also relying on remote access.


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APTs are described as stealthy, prolonged attacks typically aimed at cyberespionage attacks against businesses and governments. Due to large numbers of malware, security experts try to keep end-users and networks secure while pinpointing activity from command and control network traffic.


"The technical controls most often identified as being used to prevent APTs are network perimeter technologies, such as firewalls and access lists within routers, as well as anti-malware and anti-virus," according to the ISACA report. "While these controls are proficient for defending against traditional attacks, they are probably not as well suited for preventing APTs for a number of researchs," including spear phishing or zero-day threats.

Rats use whiskers like humans use hands, research says

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 8:34 pm

Rats actually use their whiskers in a similar way that humans use their hands and fingers, particularly when exploring the dark, according to a revelatory new piece of research on the rodents.


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Although it's long been known that mammals tend to use their whiskers to navigate dark patches, the full extent of control over the facial features was not known until now. Academics at Sheffield University set about using high speed videography to keep an eye on animals, each of which had been trained to run circuits for treats. Undergoing different scenarios, such as putting obstacles in their way or taking away visual cues, showed that the animals used their whiskers in a "purposeful" way to complete the track.


As the rats got quicker at running circuits, they also tended to change their whisker movements accordingly - whether that was to sweep surfaces or pushing their whiskers forward to detect objects that could be in their way. In the scenarios where they were likely to run into objects, the animals were more cautious and deliberately felt their way around using their whiskers. "All mammals except humans use facial whiskers as touch sensors. In humans we seem to have replaced this sense, in part, by being able to use our hand and fingers to feel our way," said Professor Tony Prescott. "The rat puts its whiskers where it thinks it will get the most useful information, just as we do with our fingertips."

Panzura thumbs nose at competitors by giving product away for free

By: Kalen Kimm | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 7:37 pm

In what may eventually prove to be a very shrewd move, Panzura announced today that it will provide a free virtual appliance version of its cloud gateway. Further, they have partnered with Google so that customers users of the free gateway also get 2TB of free storage via the Google Cloud Platform for one year.


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In reading through the press release and blog post on their website, Panzura is clearly looking to drive home the point that there is a stark difference between simply having cloud storage for one office versus actually setting up cloud storage so that it is both high performant AND collaborative across locations. As they point out, the real value add in the Panzura technology is the file locking capabilities for distributed enterprises that have multiple locations. While the gateway may be free, this file locking feature is not.

Continue reading 'Panzura thumbs nose at competitors by giving product away for free' (full post)

E-ZPass informs customers to be aware of circulating phishing scam

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 7:33 pm

E-ZPass customers in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey are being warned of an email phishing scam from criminals claiming to be from the E-ZPass "Customer Service Center." The email subject is "Payment for driving on toll road," and informs customers that they have unpaid tolls.


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The fake email has the following message: "Dear customer, you have not paid a toll for driving on a toll road. This invoice is sent repeatedly, please service your debt in the shortest possible time. The invoice can be downloaded here."


Security experts point out a couple of different problems with this email, including: bad grammar and the realization that an official summons wouldn't ask recipients to download an invoice. Furthermore, the real E-ZPass Service Center doesn't email customers regarding payment problems and other correspondence.

Continue reading 'E-ZPass informs customers to be aware of circulating phishing scam' (full post)

NASA 3D prints a model of light-year-long Eta Carinae nebula

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 6:36 pm

NASA has created a full 3D model of a light-year-long nebula that was coughed out by the Eta Carinae system, 7,500 light years away from Earth, in the 19th century.


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Eta Carinae can be found in the Carina constellation, and it's one of the brightest that are known out there by far - its smallest star is roughly 30 times as big as the Sun. In the 19th century, it spewed out the gassy Homonculus Nebula, and this is what the researchers have now printed off as a 3D model. NASA used the European Southern Observatory's appropriately titled Very Large Telescope and the X-Shooter spectrograph to image near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths across the nebula to create the most complete image made to date. Researchers took this data to look at spatial and velocity information, which then enabled the creation of the very first high-res 3D model of the nebula.


The model was put together in Shape and allowed NASA staff to inspect the more unusual features of the nebula, including trenches and dust skirts, and because it was developed using an emission line of near infrared light that was created by the molecular hydrogen gas, even allows for a close-up guesstimate of the dust-covered sides facing away from our humble little planet.

Apple opens eBay store with certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 5:11 pm

Apple has quietly opened a store on eBay to sell certified refurbished iPhone 5 smartphones that are unlocked. All of the smartphones on this particular store are GSM version of the iPhone 5. The smartphones include a one-year Apple warranty and are being sold at aggressive prices.


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The Apple store is called the Factory Outlet eBay Store and has six devices listed in factory restored and unlocked guise. iPhone 5 model on the store sell for between $449 and $499 per device.


The phone models on the eBay store are exclusive to the store. Devices are noted to be burn-in tested and professionally repacked with a final inspection performed by Apple. It's worth noting that ahead of the official launch of the latest iPad in 2013, a similar store popped up for refurbished older iPad models and disappeared before the launch of the new tablet.

ISEE-3 spacecraft team faces new challenge redirecting old satellite

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 4:03 pm

Earlier this week we mentioned that a team of scientists working out of an abandoned McDonald's restaurant in California had been able to get the decades old ISEE-3 satellite to fire its thrusters. The thruster firing is the first step in an attempt to get the satellite back on track to begin studying solar winds, which was its original mission.


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Decades ago, NASA redirected the ISEE-3 satellite to study comets rather than the mission it was built for. After getting the satellite to fire its thrusters, the team working on the project are now reporting that they have hit another issue.


While the first part of the thruster firing succeeded, another attempt to fire the thrusters this week wailed and that firing will be attempted again Wednesday. The failed maneuver Tuesday was intended to fire the thrusters over 400 times to get the spacecraft onto a path to take it near the moon without crashing into the moon.

Continue reading 'ISEE-3 spacecraft team faces new challenge redirecting old satellite' (full post)

EMC goes on PR frenzy with acquisition news and product updates

By: Kalen Kimm | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 3:07 pm

On a very busy press day for the company, EMC announced several news items spanning across several product lines. Changes include broadening the configuration options for XtremIO and Isilon, a more open and hybrid approach to deploying VMAX, updates for ViPR, and a new Hadoop big data analytics solution.


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XtremIO gets a refresh with both a new entry-level configuration of 5TB, as well as a larger scale-out cluster capable of expanding to six 20TB X-Bricks. More interesting than just the configuration expansion, XtremIO is now adding inline compression to its intelligent data handling feature set. Combined with existing snapshot and deduplication, EMC claims the product now supports petabytes of data.


On the VMAX front, EMC announced VMAX3, an open enterprise platform to bridge standard enterprise storage with cloud storage. As part of this release, EMC also announced the acquisition of TwinStrata, Inc., developer of the CloudArray management software. The new offering is engineered to give storage administrators an easy way to provision storage to either in-house storage arrays or out to public cloud storage, all based on workload requirements.

Continue reading 'EMC goes on PR frenzy with acquisition news and product updates' (full post)

17-story tall water slide opens Thursday at Kansas City Schlitterbahn

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jul 9, 2014 3:00 pm

Many people travel to water parks during the hot summer month to spend time swimming and checking out some water slides. A Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas is set to open the world's tallest water slide this Thursday called the Verruckt.


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Verruckt is a German word that means insane, and that is exactly what the world recording holding slide is. Verruckt stands 17-stories tall making it the world's tallest water slide as verified by the Guinness World Records folks as of April.


The slide stands 168 feet tall and riders in rafts will reach speeds of 60 to 70 mph, each of those rafts hold four people. The slide will open this Thursday after a couple delays to the opening for more testing.

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