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TweakTown News Posts - Page 47

International ISPs targeting GCHQ because of spying activities

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 11:37 pm

Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden discussing surveillance activities by the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, a number of ISPs in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Netherlands, Germany and Zimbabwe are targeting the GCHQ. Specifically, they say the spy agency used "malicious software" to compromise their networks while collecting data.


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The GCHQ said online searches, which it considers "external communications" when routed overseas, don't require a warrant.


"Snowden's revelations have exposed GCHQ's view that independent operators like GreenNet are legitimate targets for Internet surveillance, so we could be unknowingly used to collect data on our users. We say this is unlawful and utterly unacceptable in a democracy," said Cedric Knight, from Dutch-based ISP, GreenNet.

Continue reading 'International ISPs targeting GCHQ because of spying activities' (full post)

Boston testing Soofa phone-charging solar-powered 'smart benches'

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 10:17 pm

Solar-powered "smart benches" able to recharge your smartphones are being rolled out in Boston by Changing Environments. The benches, called Soofas, include a built-in solar panel and two USB ports, and includes Wi-Fi. The chair was introduced during the White House Maker Faire last week, and could quickly find homes throughout major metropolitan areas.


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Each bench, which can charge two phones at a time, cost $3,000 and is being described as the first step into "Smart Urban Furniture."


"Your cellphone doesn't just make phone calls, why should our benches just be seats?" said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. "We are fortunate to have talented entrepreneurs and makers in Boston thinking creatively about sustainability and the next generation of amenities for our residents."

Continue reading 'Boston testing Soofa phone-charging solar-powered 'smart benches'' (full post)

This router makes your kid complete chores to gain internet access

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 9:27 pm

A new router has appeared on Kickstarter that only allows for internet access once a certain amount of chores have been completed.


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The Kudoso router is aimed primarily at parents trying to regulate their kids' internet access - but it could equally be useful for procrastinating adults too. Kudoso sets a series of tasks that must be finished in order to unlock minutes that can be used online.


"Parents today are faced with a dilemma about how to manage the amount of time their kids spend on the internet and the content they are exposed to," developer Rob Irizarry writes on the Kickstarter page. "Kudoso lets your children earn points that allow them to access the internet sites you approve for blocks of time that you define." Admins decide how much access to each individual website costs, while access to social networks and services like Netflix are also available. At the moment, the Kickstarter has 77 backers and $7,541 of a $50,000, with 23 days to go.

Continue reading 'This router makes your kid complete chores to gain internet access' (full post)

Samsung to quit plasma panel business by the end of 2014

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 8:35 pm

Samsung will be shutting down the last of its plasma panel screen production by the end of this year.


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Although plasma TV sets have been in decline for some time, this will be a serious nail in the coffin for the technology along with Panasonic's exit late last year. According to a statement, Samsung SDI will instead invest cash and resources in the energy and materials sectors, and an overall decline in demand for the sets has been cited as the main contributing factor. The news comes amid rumors that LG, another of the three major players in plasma, is also seeking to exit the business.


"We plan to continue our PDP TV business until the end of this year, due to changes in market demands," a Samsung spokesperson told CNET. "We remain committed to providing consumers with products that meet their needs, and will increase our focus on growth opportunities in UHD TV's and Curved TV's."

Snowden shakes things up, physical data location becoming irrelevant

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 7:48 pm

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has greatly changed data security after disclosing major surveillance programs targeting U.S. citizens and foreign citizens. This has caused such a shakeup that physical location of data will become irrelevant moving forward, with organizations using a combination of different strategies to stay more secure, according to research firm Gartner.


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Gartner lists the following types of data location: physical location, legal location, political location, and logical location. Companies trying to keep data secure will have to find ways to keep data offshore while ensuring encryption keys and other tools are located elsewhere, for example - critically important with cloud computing becoming more important.


"Business leaders must make the decision and accept the residual risk, balancing different types of risk: ongoing legal uncertainty, fines or public outrage, employee dissatisfaction or losing market share due to a lack of innovation, or overspending on redundant or outdated it," according to Gartner.

Continue reading 'Snowden shakes things up, physical data location becoming irrelevant' (full post)

Man fined for defacing ex-girlfriend's Facebook page

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 7:12 pm

A man in Ireland has been fined 2,000 euros - or nearly 3,000 US dollars - for defacing his ex-girlfriend's Facebook profile, a landmark case that could set the precedent on the legality of online vandalism.


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It seems to be the first time posting from someone else's Facebook has been ruled illegal, but an Irish court decided he had violated the Criminal Damage Act, which typically covers private property. He was found guilty of posting a malicious status update by using her phone.


The man was originally faced with and later acquitted of a series of more serious crimes, Engadget reports, but pleaded guilty to the profile defacement. A financial penalty was considered most appropriate, and the judge ruled that the update damaged the good name of the victim, even though it was taken down.

Upstart smartphone maker Xiaomi takes China by storm

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 6:04 pm

Native Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has upped its shipments by almost four times compared to the previous year, potentially putting it on track to sail past big hitters like Lenovo and Samsung.


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For the first half of this year, Xiaomi's handset sales hit 26.1 million - an increase of 271 percent compared to the same time last year. Revenues reached 33 billion yuan, or 5.3 billion US dollars, which is still a hefty increase of 149 percent compared to the previous year. Xiaomi only started selling smartphones in 2011, PCWorld reports, but now has its sights set on large foreign markets like Russia and Brazil.


The company is now ahead of Apple in the Chinese market, making it the third largest vendor for the first quarter of this year. Although it began as a niche, high-end vendor, it's continued to expand at a speedy rate, with an aggressive expansion policy to match. Many of the recent sales were down to the affordable Redmi line, which can be bought new for just 113 US dollars.

Vine adds loop counts to videos to highlight user engagement

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 5:00 pm

Vine is a place where lots of people from around the world upload short looping videos of anything and everything you can think of. In the past, there was no way to know how many people had watched your Vine videos on loop, but that has now changed. Vine has announced that it has added a loop count.


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The number of loops your video has seen is now included on iOS and Android mobile apps and indicate how many times people have looped the video. The loops are counted on videos whether they are viewed on Vine or embedded on the web.


The loop count number updates in real-time as you watch the video. The updated apps also bring with them a redesigned home feed with better edge-to-edge videos and a cleaner view for likes and comments. The activity feed has also been changed.

Apple makes changes to AppleCare support plans

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 4:03 pm

Apple has been offering support plans for a number of its gadgets for a while now called AppleCare. Apple plans to make a big marketing push to get people to adopt the premium AppleCare+ offering for the iPhone and iPad.


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AppleCare+ is a premium plan offering support for two years on top of the standard 90 days of support. AppleCare+ will also cover your device for up to two instances of accidental damage. One of the big changes to AppleCare+ is that users now have longer to buy the protection on their phone.


In the past, you only had 30 days to opt to purchase the protection if you didn't get it at the time of purchase. Moving forward, the plan will bring that purchase window out to 60 days. AppleCare+ for iPhone and iPads is $99. Apple has also now discontinued the older and cheaper AppleCare plan that didn't cover damage from accidents.

Nokia Lumia 635 hits T-Mobile packing LTE and more

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:02 pm

Nokia has rolled out a new smartphone called the Lumia 635 with LTE and it has landed in the US on a couple carriers. The 635 is now available for customers to buy on T-Mobile and on Metro PCS for as low as $99. The Lumia 635 is the follow-up to the Lumia 521 smartphone.


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The launch of the smartphone will be in stages starting on July 5 on the Home Shopping Network for T-Mobile Simple Choice Customers out there. The phone will land in stores on July 16 and online on July 9. Pricing will depend on where you buy the phone with MetroPCS selling it for $99 and T-Mobile offering it for $0 down and $7 monthly for 24 months working out to $168.


The Lumia 635 has a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 854 x 480 with multi-touch tech. The main camera is a 5MP unit and the device has a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor. Power comes from an 1830 mAh internal battery.

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