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Supporters concerned mainstream bitcoin interest now stalling

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 3:20 pm

The number of stores and services now accepting bitcoins may top 100,000 worldwide, but it appears actual purchases using the volatile cryptocurrency remains low. There also is increased skepticism because of a continued drop in bitcoin value in recent months, frightening away potential investors and customers.

 

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Bitcoin supporters say the cryptocurrency is far from dead - and urge owners to show patience during a rough time - especially as there are potential uses for bitcoin technology besides just finance.

 

"There are some breakthroughs in technology that are going to endure whether bitcoin survives or not," said David Yermack, professor of finance at the New York University Stern School of Business, in a statement published by the Boston Globe.

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Corporate America in dire need of cybersecurity help to fight attacks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 2:31 pm

To help defend against cyberattacks, executives at private corporations need assistance from the US government and cybersecurity firms.

 

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It took longer than experts would have liked, but it appears 90 percent of CEOs in the United States find cybersecurity strategically important, according to a PwC survey. The survey also found 87 percent are worried about cyberattacks, and 45 percent are extremely concerned about mounting attacks - many aimed at stealing employee and customer personal data.

 

President Barack Obama hosted a cybersecurity summit last week at Stanford University, seeking greater cooperation between the United States and Silicon Valley. "When you step back and look at the role of a company versus the role of a government, clearly if we're going to provide the safest possible [customer] experience in [the] aggregate, government and companies need to work together," said John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, in a statement to Fortune.

Continue reading 'Corporate America in dire need of cybersecurity help to fight attacks' (full post)

Drivers shouldn't expect fully autonomous vehicles just yet

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 1:30 pm

Autonomous vehicles are on the horizon, but drivers shouldn't expect to see fully self-driving vehicles immediately. Public roads and highways aren't yet set up to accommodate autonomous vehicles, so trying to figure out roadway infrastructure will be difficult.

 

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It's going to take additional live driving research to work out a lot of the kinks that must be improved in the years to come. However, the auto industry has plenty of time to show off technological breakthroughs while winning over the public.

 

A survey from Carnegie Mellon University helps provide additional insight into the type of features drivers want to see from future self-driving technology. Seventy one percent of drivers want an autonomous vehicle to be able to adjust driving habits based on weather, while 57 percent hope self-driving cars are equipped with a driver fatigue warning.

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PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 has been finished in less than 5 hours

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 1:29 pm

Ready at Dawn is on the verge of releasing its PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886, but the Internet has been on fire in regards to the games length. One YouTuber has finished the game as quick as possible, clocking it in under five hours, even with countless cutscenes.

 

 

The developer has gone into defensive mode, with its Chief Technical Officer Andrea Passino saying that he would not respond to "clickbait rumors about game length" even though the YouTube video in question was taken down quite quickly. Pessino has been quoted as saying "at a normal pace and difficulty level, you can finish the game in a window between eight and ten hours".

 

Considering that gamers who have gotten their hands-on The Order: 1886 early have said that the game is half filled with cutscenes, which you can't skip, and there are countless quick time events (QTEs), the five-hour runtime seems extremely short. With it being a singleplayer title, there's next to no replayabality, which is a real downer for the game and its five-hour playthrough.

Continue reading 'PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 has been finished in less than 5 hours' (full post)

Smart implants making major impact in the medical world

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 12:15 pm

There is a blend of technology and modern medicine helping save lives, as smart medical implants are being used in select cases.

 

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The US government is throwing its weight behind smart implant research, with the DARPA Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRX) program. University researchers also have received additional financial support to develop smart implants that can be used to enhance medicine. Doctors and researchers have successfully created hardware for the human heart, esophagus and other critical areas - but trying to make implants for the brain remains extremely tricky.

 

"We're like the Wright brothers at the stage where they were first trying to build an airplane," said Tim Denison, director of the Medtronic neuromodulation division, in a statement published by NBC News. "Before they could do it, they had to build a wind tunnel to understand the principles of flight."

Continue reading 'Smart implants making major impact in the medical world' (full post)

Researchers stumble across Arab-speaking cybercriminal group

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 11:50 am

The Operation Arid Viper campaign has successfully stolen more than 1 million files with current malware campaigns underway, though it's not the usual suspects, according to Kaspersky Lab and Trend Micro.

 

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The Arab-speaking group, with ties to Gaza, have targeted foreign government offices, critical infrastructure, military, universities, and other high-profile targets. The attacks likely occurred starting in mid-2013 and a full investigation into their actions is underway.

 

"Whoever the real culprits are, it is clear that they are part of the Arab world, evidence of a budding generation of Arab hackers and malware creators intent on taking down their chosen adversaries," researchers said in a study. "Some of the black hats - be they mercenaries or cybersoldiers - are actively targeting countries such as Israel due to political motivations. We have seen all of the ingredients of a cyberskirmish guerrilla war that goes unnoticed by mainstream IT security media."

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The next episode of Modern Family was shot on the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 10:51 am

An upcoming episode of Modern Family has been shot almost entirely on Apple's iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2, according to The New York Times.

 

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The episode was shot using Apple's various devices and applications, with video calls and photo sharing using Apple's FaceTime and iMessage apps. ABC will air the new episode of the show on February 25, something that had the show's creators shooting everything at the same time, shooting on three sets all at once.

 

According to Modern Family's co-creator and Executive Producer Steve Levitan, "everything was shot on the iPhone 6 or new iPads, With one or two small scenes shot using MacBook Pros".

Apple patent teases a future VR display for the iPhone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 9:39 am

The United States Patent & Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent that the iDevice maker filed all the way back in 2008 for a headset design that would see you use your iPhone as a VR headset.

 

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The design resembles the Galaxy Note 4-powered Gear VR, where you slot your iPhone into a device that sits on your face, where you use an external controller that helps you navigate through menus and more when motion tracking doesn't cut it. This is just a patent that Apple has filed, so we don't know if it'll turn into something just yet.

 

But judging by the amazing things Oculus VR has been able to do, all without a consumer VR product on the market, we don't think it'll be long before Apple unveils its own VR or AR headset.

Microsoft to turn all Xbox One consoles into dev kits this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 8:12 am

In a surprising move from Microsoft, all Xbox One consoles will be turned into developer kits later this year, according to The Verge. The Verge's sources have said that Microsoft will tell the world more about it at its developer-focused Build conference in April.

 

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Back in July of last year, then-Corporate Vice President of Xbox, Marc Whitten said "every Xbox One can be used for development". But with the expensive price of development kit units, it stopped smaller developers from making content for the Xbox consoles. We should also expect an expansion of Xbox One app development, which is limited to select developers at the moment.

 

A new SDK will be shown off in May, something that will provider developers with the ability to create apps as early as the summer.

Halo fans will soon be able to buy a Halo-themed motorcycle helmet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 18, 2015 6:56 am

Motorcycle riding Halo fans better put some money aside, as toy-maker NECA is preparing a helmet designed around the look of Master Chief's helmet from Halo.

 

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The Halo inspired helmet is inspired in many ways from the popular Xbox franchise, with the front air intakes preventing fogging, while the rear exhaust vents will keep your head nice and cool, and comfortable. There's also a reflective shield with UV protection, as well as a removable top and cheek pads.

 

NECA began showing off its Halo helmet back in June 2014, but now we're getting closer to it being available. The new Halo helmet will be ready in July, after it is approved by the Department of Transportation in the United States.

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