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TweakTown News Posts - Page 33

Star Trek makes its way onto an Australian limited edition coin

By: Chris Smith | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 10:24 pm

There doesn't seem to be a 'special reason' for this coin release, no specific anniversary or anything comes to mind - however do we really need one? The Perth Mint will be releasing this 99 percent pure silver coin to the public, embedded with either the original Enterprise or William Shatner as James Kirk.

 

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Printed as $1 in Aussie currency, it's unlikely you'll head down to the local shops and buy yourself a Mars Bar with the coin however. Unfortunately there is currently no price listed on the official website but Gizmodo explains that these collectables will generally set you back around $100 AUD - you can find out for yourself when it goes live in 2 hours time (6am local time).

 

Complete with fancy packaging and all, these coins are almost a must-have for any Star Trek fanatic - but you must be quick, this offer is limited to 1500 combined sets and 5000 singular coins.

Continue reading 'Star Trek makes its way onto an Australian limited edition coin' (full post)

Payments could one day be cashless and cardless, but will take time

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 10:10 pm

There are plenty of alternative payments to cash, debit and credit cards, but it will take years of development for widespread consumer adoption. Vendors hope mobile payments, for example, will provide a cashless and cardless payment choice, while other solutions are being developed.

 

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"As technology drives a shift in how we buy things, the revenue that the payments industry extracts could grow to more than US $2 trillion a year by 2023, double the 2013 figure, the Boston Consulting Group predicts," noted "The Future of Money" report from MIT Technology Review. "Much of that increase will come from a reduction in cash payments in developing countries."

 

The US mobile payment will expand from $52 billion last year up to $142 billion by 2019, the Forrester Research analyst group predicts. Consumers have smartphones and the ability to use mobile payments, but it's still going to take time to build trust and confidence.

Continue reading 'Payments could one day be cashless and cardless, but will take time' (full post)

Closer look at North Korea's cyber army tasked with cyberespionage

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 9:08 pm

North Korea isn't a cyberespionage powerhouse like Russia or China, but the country has a budding cyber warfare program that could cause major headaches for the United States and South Korea. Pyongyang is investing more resources into its cyber capabilities, evolving attack habits to be highly disruptive.

 

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"A prime example could be if we're imagining that North Korea was under attack from South Korea, which was being supported by the US Army," said Egle Murauskaite, trainer at the US National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, in a statement to the Christian Science Monitor. "North Korea could attack satellites to disrupt communication between the US and allies and imped the US ability to reach targets."

 

Along with satellites, precision guided missiles largely rely on electronics, so there are fears that attacks would be able to effectively disrupt these signals.

Continue reading 'Closer look at North Korea's cyber army tasked with cyberespionage' (full post)

FAA finally outlines drone regulations for commercial use

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 8:32 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shook up the aviation industry by making commercial drone flights acceptable with a few requirements: operators must be at least 17 years old, pass a written exam covering FAA rules, and operators will need to observe safety requirements.

 

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Drones must be less than 55 pounds, fly below 500 feet, and travel less than 100 mph, while being operated within sight of the primary drone operator. In addition, the FAA said drone flights cannot take place near airports or over private citizens not involved in the commercial flight of the drone.

 

"We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules," said Michael Huerta, FAA Administration, in a statement published by USA Today. "We want to maintain today's outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry."

Continue reading 'FAA finally outlines drone regulations for commercial use' (full post)

Xbox One, PlayStation 4 selling better than previous generations

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 7:31 pm

The current generation of consoles, which includes the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, are selling incredibly well when compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

 

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"The combined hardware install base of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One," said Liam Callahan, from The NPD Group, in a statement to Polygon, "is close to 60 percent higher than the cumulative hardware totals for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the same point in their lifecycles (after 15 months)."

 

Software sales increased 5 percent year-over-year, with current generation software sales 74 percent higher after the same time frame compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Continue reading 'Xbox One, PlayStation 4 selling better than previous generations' (full post)

US government greatly concerned of insider threat attacks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 7:08 pm

Companies and government agencies understand the need for improved cybersecurity to help defend against attacks and insider threats. It's a confusing mix of trying to defend against outside threats, and keeping reckless and improperly trained employees from causing harm.

 

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Fifty-three percent of federal IT professionals believe insider threats, whether from intentional threats or untrained employees, remains the largest threat, according to a report from IT software firm SolarWinds. Furthermore, 64 percent of those surveyed think insider threats can be as damaging - or more damaging - than malicious external threats posed by hackers and cyberespionage.

 

"Contrasting the prevalence of insider IT security threats against a general lack of threat prevention resources and inconsistently enforced security policies, federal IT pros absolutely must gain visibility into insider actions to keep their agencies protected," said Chris LaPoint, group VP of product management at SolarWinds. "However, given the unpredictability of human behavior, the 'Why?' of those actions is an elusive query."

The Trinity Supercomputer calls for some serious water cooling

By: Chris Smith | More News: Super Computing | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 4:26 pm

This massive stockpile of components will all be slotted nicely together in order to cool the NNSA's first Advanced Simulation and Computing Program's product - named the Trinity Supercomputer.

 

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All of this gear is called 'warm-water cooling' and it's what you'd expect in order to provide an energy-saving alternative for some of the world's most advanced tech.

 

An explanation from the Los Alamos National Labarotory reads: "The Trinity supercomputer is the first of the NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing program's advanced technology systems. Once installed, Trinity will be the first platform large and fast enough to begin to accommodate finely resolved 3D calculations for full-scale, end-to-end weapons calculations. But the installation of such a powerful supercomputer is no small task." But wait, there's more! "In order to accommodate Trinity, the SCC first had to undergo a series of major mechanical and electrical infrastructure upgrades. Because energy conservation is a priority at Los Alamos, these upgrades included a shift to warm water cooling technology (which will result in a major energy savings), as well as a decrease in the use of city/well water for cooling towers.."

Continue reading 'The Trinity Supercomputer calls for some serious water cooling' (full post)

ABI Research: Biometrics industry to reach $13.8 billion in 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 4:20 pm

The surging biometrics market is predicted to reach $13.8 billion in 2015, largely due to government adoption, however, there could be growing interest in the private sector, according to the ABI Research group.

 

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The United States and European Union nations will continue to adopt biometrics, with fingerprint recognition still the leading solution. Consumer and private sector biometrics spending could outpace government spending in 2018, according to ABI, as wearables and smartphones implement enhanced security protocols.

 

The healthcare industry is still trying to cope with news that Anthem suffered a major data breach - and there are increased talks regarding cybersecurity technologies that can be utilized to prevent future incidents. As more companies transition to electronic health records, biometrics supporters hope that it will present a great opportunity for hardware and software adoption.

US wireless carriers forced to unlock smartphones for subscribers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 3:35 pm

Wireless carriers in the United States must now allow postpaid and prepaid customers to unlock their smartphones without putting up a fight. The "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act went into effect on Feb. 11, signed by President Barack Obama, giving consumers the choice to use an unlocked device as long as it is compatible with the new network.

 

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Prior to the rule change, smartphone owners would have to search around for unlock codes or try to unlock their phones on their own. For the majority of smartphone owners, it proved to be a major headache that most didn't want to go through.

 

"We are pleased the FCC acknowledged the participating wireless carriers met the deadlines to unlock their customers' devices per the Consumer Code for Wireless Service," said Scott Bergmann, VP for regulatory affairs at the CTIA. "We also remind consumers that an unlocked device does not necessarily mean an interoperable one since different carriers use different technologies and spectrum bands."

Physics games are still cool - The Besiege Alpha is fantastic

By: Chris Smith | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 15, 2015 3:07 pm

Did you ever play Bridge Builder? I know I spend many hours of precious High School learning time teetering away, trying to build the best bridge on a budget to somehow transport my cargo across the raging chasm I was provided with.

 

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Well we're now in the 'new age', with physics games being more than a few colors and lines - in comes Besiege. You're given a tiny starting block and as many resources as you can poke a stick at, each level has a slightly different objective and almost all have these cute little knights and archers waiting to slice you up.

 

Interested? Here's more - whether you're after a more tactical approach or simply want to build something ridiculous and massive like my aptly named 'Cannon Fire' (as seen in the full story), Besiege will present you with various problem solving tasks that you must complete. Each component in your arsenal can be tweaked and tinkered with, including different turning speeds, strengths and firing orders - further adding to the depth of this indie title.

Continue reading 'Physics games are still cool - The Besiege Alpha is fantastic' (full post)

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