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TweakTown News Posts - Page 37

DARPA researching self-guided .50-caliber ammo rounds

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 12, 2014 6:59 pm

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently tested a .50-caliber self-guided bullet that pairs a maneuverable round with a custom optical guidance system. The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance (EXACTO) round is designed to help snipers be even more effective, and provides a bigger standoff range.


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The U.S. military hopes a self-guided round will make it easier to eliminate targets with a single shot - helping keep snipers hidden. Specifically, the guidance system will prove helpful in Afghanistan and other environments where there are high winds, dusty terrain, and sometimes harsh shooting conditions.


Continue reading 'DARPA researching self-guided .50-caliber ammo rounds' (full post)

PDXLAN 24 Coverage - One hell of a LAN party

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 12, 2014 8:30 am

PDXLAN 24 - TweakTown is on the ground in Portland, OR, for PDXLAN, one of the largest LAN parties on the west coast. A little background: PDXLAN started back when CRTs were still in vogue and the whole LAN was run off of a 1.5 DSL connection. Since then, the LAN has grown in size, and they have added more and more events throughout the year. PDXLAN 24 is currently taking place and runs from 6pm on July 11 to 6pm on July 14. We've been taking video during the event, but my MacBook Air isn't the most capable video editing machine, so video will be coming later this weekend.


We're going to take you through the start of the event until around midnight using pictures as pictures are worth a thousand words. So, with that introduction out of the way, let's get on to the fun stuff.


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The LAN takes place in the Holiday Inn convention center next to Portland's airport (PDX), hence the name PDXLAN. As you can see, the LAN has yet to open to the general public, but setup has already been completed. Shortly, this cavernous room will be filled with heat-producing PCs and gamers hungry to frag and win prizes.

Continue reading 'PDXLAN 24 Coverage - One hell of a LAN party' (full post)

Panasonic rebrands OCZ SSD drives, enters the flash storage market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Storage | Posted: Jul 12, 2014 2:28 am

It looks like Panasonic is now a player in the SSD market, without much fanfare to be honest. The company looks to be re-branding OCZ drives, using OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot M10 controller.


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The Panasonic-branded, OCZ-made drives were spotted in the famous Akihabara shopping district, with the new Panasonic Premium range of SSDs. These new SSDs come in retail packaging, including software and adapters to get them installed into desktop PCs. Panasonic is making its Premium SSDs available in three sizes: 120GB, 240GB and 480GB.


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The new drives are based on OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot M10 controller, and should be using Toshiba's second-generation 19nm MLC NAND flash. These new drives are based on the SATA 6Gbps interface, with the performance side of things looking to match what OCZ has with its Vertex 460 SSDs.

UK internet providers brand NSA, GCHQ villains at industry award show

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 12, 2014 1:03 am

American spy agency the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have been declared the "internet villains" of 2014 at a British internet industry awards ceremony.


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At the 2014 ISPA Awards in London, telcos pointed the finger at GCHQ and the NSA for their involvement in programs like PRISM and Tempora, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The internet hero award,meanwhile, was granted to the Guardian for its extensive reporting on the matter.


Unsurprisingly no spy agency officials were on hand to pick up the tongue-in-cheek, villainous gong, so it was collected by privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch instead. Last year's 'winner' was Turkey's prime minister Erdogan, who clamped down on online freedoms throughout the country as a wave of protest hit the streets and social media. The ceremony is in its 16th year running and invites all the heavy hitters of the British telecoms industry.

Hubble telescope detects mysterious deficit of light in the Universe

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 12, 2014 12:06 am

The Universe as we know it is a lot darker than it should be, according to the latest readings from the Hubble Space Telescope.


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A new examination has revealed that ultraviolet light is mysteriously missing from the nearest known parts of the Universe. UV rays are largely invisible to us mortals because their wavelengths come up short of visible light, however, with high frequencies they can be visible in devices like ultraviolet lamps. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder's Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy says that UV light can travel at great distances across the Universe, and most of it adds up. But closer to home there's a deficit that is tough to explain, leading researchers to question just what's happening to ionizing photons.


"If we count up the known sources of ultraviolet ionizing photons, we come up five times too short," said Benjamin Oppenheimer, one of the researchers. "We are missing 80 percent of the ionizing photons, and the question is where are they coming from? The most fascinating possibility is that an exotic new source, not quasars or galaxies, is responsible for the missing photons."

Continue reading 'Hubble telescope detects mysterious deficit of light in the Universe' (full post)

Google legal chief shines light on EU right to be forgotten delistings

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 11, 2014 11:28 pm

The controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling in Europe has seen Google censor news articles and remove search results - and now the company has shed some light on the process itself.


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Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, penned a statement, published in the Guardian, in which he put forward the company's case. "When it comes to determining what's in the public interest, we're taking into account a number of factors," Drummond wrote. "These include whether the information relates to a politician, celebrity or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet "spent"; and if the information is being published by a government. But these will always be difficult and debatable judgments."


That Google is having to decide the validity of each request on a case by case basis is testament to its power - delisting results is at the company's discretion. Of course, Google is not able to remove articles or websites from the internet, but as by far the largest search engine on the planet, taking down searches tends to considerably reduce the access to such pages. But Drummond asserted that adapting to the European ruling will be part of a learning curve. "Only two months in our process is still very much a work in progress," Drummond wrote. "It's why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they've since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that's happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices."

Chinese media says the Apple iPhone is a 'national security threat'

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 11, 2014 10:23 pm

Chinese state media said the Apple iPhone is a national security threat, citing the tracking ability of the popular smartphone, including its "Frequent Locations" function found in iOS 7.


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Apple has worked diligently to build a strong following in China, a booming smartphone market, but has struggled against its rivals. China currently controls 6 percent of the Chinese smartphone market, with Samsung, Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei, and Xiaomi ahead - but revenue from China is growing, so Apple will continue to promote iPhones there.


Washington and Beijing have an extremely touchy relationship, and cyberespionage and security issues are certainly complicated, with both sides accusing one another of surveillance techniques. Meanwhile, Apple has been criticized by Chinese state media and the government itself on several occasions, along with being criticized for not having good levels of customer service.

Britain joins the US in banning uncharged smartphones from flights

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 11, 2014 9:32 pm

Britain has now joined the United States in demanding that travelers have fully-charged smart devices before they're allowed to board flights.


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Britain's Department for Transport has said that, "in line with" advice from the US, prospective passengers can be harassed into proving their devices are powered up - otherwise they may not be allowed to board certain flights. "Passengers flying into or out of the UK are therefore advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel," the Department said in a statement.


It's likely to be viewed as a rather over-the-top move, much like the recent decision by US policymakers. As anyone who has had the pleasure of air travel will know, sometimes it's not always possible to keep your device charged up - especially when charging stations at airports can be limited. British Airways recently announced it would outright ban uncharged devices from flights before reversing the decision, and allowing passengers the option of having their phones or tablets forwarded to their destination in the mail.

Romanian man involved in phishing scam sentenced to 45 months

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 11, 2014 9:20 pm

Romanian citizen Iulian Schiopu was sentenced to 45 months in prison for his role in a cybercrime operation related to phishing. Schiopu and his accomplices reportedly affected thousands of debit and credit cards of U.S. banking customers.


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Stolen information was stored in shared email accounts, with names, addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers at risk. The group became known in the United States because criminals in Romania were withdrawing money of U.S. bank account holders. So far in the investigation, more than 20 Romanian citizens have been arrested for their various roles in the phishing scheme.


Cybercriminals are able to launch a large amount of attacks with little risk of law enforcement interference, but the U.S. government is ramping up efforts to dismantle organized attack groups.

Acer first manufacturer to offer Intel Core i3-powered Chromebook

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jul 11, 2014 8:11 pm

Electronics maker Acer has introduced the first Chromebooks powered by the Intel Core i3 processor, with two different models available for release later this month. Acer currently controls almost 47 percent of the niche market, serving as one of the only companies to throw heavy time behind the lightweight, fast operating system.


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The Acer C720 Chromebook will be available with two different models using the Intel Core i3-40005U processor (1.7 GHz, 3MB L3 cache). The Acer C720-3404 model will be priced for $379.99 with 4GB of memory, while the Acer C720-3871 will be priced at $349.99 with 2GB of memory. The supported resolution is 1366 x 768, featuring 32GB of storage, webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0 and 3.0, and an HDMI connector.


"This is an incredibly exciting time to be a leader in the Chromebook market, since customers are responding with tremendous enthusiasm for the product's performance, capabilities and value," said Eric Ackerson, Acer America Senior Product Marketing and Brand Manager, in a statement. "We've been breaking new ground with our Chromebooks since 2011, and our new Intel Core i3 model will deliver more of what our customers love about our Chromebooks, including excellent performance and all-day battery life."

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