We will meet the Galaxy Note 4 next week, where it should feature the same Synaptics Natural ID fingerprint technology that is found in Samsung's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. Not only that, but the Galaxy Note 4 should feature added functionality compared to the sensor featured in the S5.
SamMobile is reporting that the Galaxy Note 4 should feature two notable changes in its fingerprint sensor, with the first being the ability to control which application opens when you swipe your finger. This allows users to program a specific application to open up when they swipe their thumb, with the app opening up and displaying in front of you instantly - instead of your finger unlocking the phone, and then having to navigate to the app you were going to use anyway.
The second feature is that you will be able to save passwords and log into websites, with the new Web sign-in feature allowing you to visit sites like Amazon, Gmail and many others where your username and password have been remembered. Instead of typing in your password, you'll be able to swipe your finger on the sensor, where the browser will then enter in your credentials for you. These new features will be added to the what the Galaxy S5 is already capable of.
One of Google's most interesting new devices coming is its Project Ara, a modular smartphone. The company has announced that it has inked a deal with Rockship, a Chinese system-on-a-chip manufacturer to build a custom processor designed specifically for Project Ara.
According to project lead Paul Eremenko, the custom processor is a better fit for Project Ara, as the company wanted something more independent for its modular smartphone. Rockchip will achieve this, as it will be a solution that doesn't require a bridge chip. Eremenko has teased that his team has started the second design spiral just last month, and that Toshiba has successfully produced the first revision of a UniPro network switch and bridges last week.
Now that we're into the second design spiral, Eremenko said that we can expect a major new MDK and new developer hardware, as well as their second developers conference later in the year. Google should be showing off its new Rockchip UniPro processor in Project Ara's third design spiral, with a prototype ready to be unveiled early next year.
WhatsApp growth doesn't seem to be slowing down, with its CEO Jan Koum tweeting that the mobile messaging app has over 600 million monthly active users. The tweet from Koum wasn't just to brag about the growth of WhatsApp, but that its 600 million users are actually active, compared to its competitors.
Services such as Kik and Line only report on their registered numbers, so we don't know how popular they are at any given time. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp back in February for $19 billion, the company was edging on 500 million users. A couple of months later, in April, WhatsApp hit the 500 million mark, so it has only taken the company another four months to take in another 100 million users.
Right now, WhatsApp is free to use for the first year, and just $0.99 per year after. With 600 million monthly active users, the company isn't making much of its half-billion user base, but I'm sure we'll see that change soon when the Facebook acquisition closes later in the year.
It wasn't long ago that we were reporting that according to multiple sources, Google were in the process of acquiring Twitch in a deal worth $1 billion. But now Amazon has confirmed today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch for $970 million, with the deal closing in the coming months.
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, said: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month - from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old. Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear had the following to say: "Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming. Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world."
Fast food restaurant Burger King continues to embrace technology, and wants customers to go online and receive free smartphones when signing up for two-year wireless contracts from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or Sprint. The promotion doesn't let customers have the latest and greatest smartphones, but the list of offered wireless devices isn't too shabby.
Along with a rather curious relationship of a fast food restaurant offering smartphones, it's surprising to see the types of devices currently being offered. Models offered include: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, LG Optimus G Pro, G2, and the HTC One. Purchases are made through Amazon, and will end up costing the same amount as similar free phone offerings.
Burger King's promotion coincides with the launch of the new Burger King App for Google Android.
The U.S. Army Advanced Hypersonic Weapon was test launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, but something went wrong and officials triggered a self-destruct sequence. It's unknown what kind of problem the aircraft had, but was destroyed just four seconds after launching, according to military officials.
Developed as part of the U.S. military's Conventional Prompt Global Strike program, the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon was created by the Sandia National Laboratory. A successful test in November 2011 saw the craft fly from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands, as the U.S. Army saw the unique glide vehicle pass through a successful series of ground testing and simulations.
"Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after lift-off to ensure public safety," according to a release from the U.S. Department of Defense. Officials have launched an "extensive" investigation to determine what went wrong during the second launch.
Yesterday we reported the sad news on the passing of legendary English actor director Richard Attenborough, which has caused a flood of memorial posts by the entertainment industry. Perhaps the most interesting has been posted by 'Jurassic World' director Colin Trevorrow, whom has just wrapped principal photography on the fourth 'Jurassic Park' picture.
In Memoriam. pic.twitter.com/5jL7Sh9Hpr- Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) August 25, 2014
Set 22 years from the events of the first 'Jurassic Park' (real-time from the 1993 release), 'Jurassic World' doesn't feature a live cameo appearance from Attenborough, but he does cast a shadow with his full size statue, presumably featured in the new parks visitors centre.
The sculpt is similar to one that adorns the 'Jurassic Park' world at Universal Studios Japan, which I had the pleasure of visiting in 2011.
'Jurassic World' is released on July 12, 2015 and stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D'Onofrio.
Companies are having a hard enough time trying to keep data secure from cybercriminals overseas, but insider threats leave organizations helpless. A lack of proper training and budget constraints make it difficult, with more than 60 percent of IT and security experts saying they couldn't respond to a real insider attack, according to the SpectorSoft security firm.
Respondents from the United States, Europe and Latin America said a lack of training (55 percent) and budget problems (51 percent) are problematic, with 34 percent saying insider threats aren't currently a priority. There has been an estimated $2.9 trillion of employee fraud losses worldwide every year, as employee theft and fraud can be extremely difficult to detect.
"These statistics paint a bleak picture when it comes to securing company data against insider threats," said Rob Williams, SpectorSoft chief marketing officer. "With so many data breaches happening, C-level executives are coming to the realization that their jobs could be on the line if company data isn't protected. Proper defense must include a comprehensive security solution, and with humans involved, education is just as key. The market is ripe for a new approach to internal security."
Cybercriminals recently targeted JPMorgan Chase customers with a curious phishing attack designed to steal banking credentials and infect PCs so other usernames and passwords could be collected. JMorgan is the No. 1 bank in the United States based on assets, and confirmed the "Smash and Grab" cyberattack targeting its customers.
It seems spam filters stopped a large portion of the attacks, but the phishing scam looks authentic, so it likely did compromise customers. In addition to stealing JPMorgan Chase credentials, attached malware also targets Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup customers.
Financial institutions are struggling to try to defend customers from cyberattacks - and the use of social engineering is rising, with cybercriminals simply tricking users into providing the data. However, it's rather curious that these spammers are including malware that steals credentials of other banks, because it's more likely to be detected.
Information security spending will reach $71.1 billion in 2014, a 7.9 percent year-over-year growth rate, according to the Gartner research group. The data loss prevention sector will have the fastest growth, amounting to 18.9 percent, with security spending to rise 8.2 percent in 2015 up to $76.9 billion.
There is great interest in improving security, especially among companies with customer and client data at risk, as retailers, financial institutions, and healthcare in the private sector try to boost their defenses. Cybercriminals are improving their malware and malicious software, which can be found online for a relatively low price to anyone willing to pay.
"This Nexus of Forces is impacting security in terms of new vulnerabilities," said Lawrence Pingree, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "It is also creating new opportunities to improve effectiveness, particularly as a resule of better understanding security threats by using contextual information and other security intelligence. This has led to increased awareness among organizations that would have traditionally treated security as an IT function and a cost center."