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Government agencies face cyberattacks, largely unable to keep up

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 10:20 am

Since 2013, there have been more than 25 successful cyberattacks against US government networks, and many federal agencies still haven't prioritized cybersecurity efforts. As China, Russia, Iran, and other foreign governments continue to launch attacks, IT experts believe governments should make a bigger effort to boost network protocols.

 

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Internal inspectors have found numerous security vulnerabilities in different government agencies, and the US federal government still is lackadaisical in improving security. It's ironic that the Obama Administration has streamlined malware creation - and cyberwarfare development to attack foreign rivals - but has been slow to improve its own security.

 

"It would be wrong to suspect that the federal government is any better at this than the private sector," said Paul Rosenzweig, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy aide.

Michael Brown's family campaigning for police officers to wear cameras

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 7:30 am

As buildings in Ferguson, Missouri, remain ablaze from a night of chaos related to news that Darren Wilson, the police officer that killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, wouldn't be indicted, the Brown family wants officers to begin wearing body cameras.

 

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Here is what the family said following news the officer wouldn't be indicted: "Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. A growing number companies are now interested in developing wearable body cameras, and due to a growing number of high-profile incidents across the country, there is a more lively debate if police agencies should adopt their use.

 

Meanwhile, there are so many fires in Ferguson, fire crews are having trouble to respond to all of them, especially as vandals continue to pose significant safety threats.

ESPN expanding plans for streaming online video service in 2015

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 6:23 am

ESPN could begin to roll out online streaming video subscriptions for select programs and live sporting events, giving viewers the chance to watch its broadcasting without needing a cable or satellite TV subscription. The effort could begin as early as February, when ESPN will reportedly offer access to the Cricket World Cup, which is held every four years - and while not a major event in the United States, is one of the largest sporting events in the world.

 

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Pricing information and other details about the streaming service remains unknown.

 

"We think about, are there sports events we could offer where the consumer would pay us directly - not the content on our current linear networks," said John Skipper, ESPN head, earlier this year. "This has to be new [content], and it would create third revenue stream for us. I do want to be clear: we are not looking to linear channels an the content that's on them now. We're going to acquire new content and new kinds of things to do direct-to-consumer."

Stallone says sanitised PG-13 'Expandables 3' was a mistake

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 6:16 am

This year's third entry in the "Expendables" franchise was lambasted (and rightly so) for the studio chasing extra dollars by sanitising the hard R rating of the first two films for the sake of getting more kids in the theater. Now, star Sylvester Stallone has owned up to the mistake, in a new interview with CraveOnline.

 

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'Expendables 3' was a financial disappointment for Lionsgate films, grossing $100 million less than its predecessor, despite their intentions. Asked about whether the third entry should have been released as a PG-13, Stallone responded:

 

I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone's part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I'm quite certain it won't happen again.

 

So there we have it. Expect 'Expendables 4' (don't worry - it's coming) to return to a hard and gritty R rating.

castAR has shipped its first set of AR glasses, more on their way

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 5:41 am

Jeri Ellsworth has taken to Twitter to announce that the Technical Illusions team is finally shipping their first pair of castAR glasses. You might remember the startup took to Kickstarter to raise $1 million, spearheaded by ex-Valve engineers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson.

 

 

The AR glasses feature active shutter glasses, a camera for input and a projector that displays 3D images onto a surface. The company caalls the device "the most versatile AR and VR system" but it has more strength in its AR side, with its VR side not working until you buy the optional clip-on. We should hopefully have a pair in the coming months, so keep checking back here at TweakTown.

Continue reading 'castAR has shipped its first set of AR glasses, more on their way' (full post)

KOOM VR opens up NOON virtual reality glasses for pre-order

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 5:17 am

Tech company KOOM VR has announced pre-orders are now being accepted for the company's NOON virtual reality headset, a device being promoted as the first high-quality headset. The unit is compatible with most smartphones and virtual reality apps, and is optimized for the KOOM app, able to utilize your smartphone's sensors, on-screen display and computing power. The NOON VR headset will be available for just $79 - and pre-orders begin on Dec. 1.

 

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The NOON VR has large, wide-angle lenses that offer 95-degree field of view, and head movements can be used to help navigate custom interfaces.

 

"We have set out to facilitate the creation and sharing of immersive video and making virtual reality content accessible and affordable to more people," said Kwang-Jin Choi, KOOM VR Chief Technology Officer. "Virtual reality can give us a new way of communication experiences, without any abstraction or interpretation. NOON VR and the ability to share content through the KOOM VR app will allow anyone to be completely submerged in a new reality."

Fidelity Investments launches 'StockCity' to woo millennials

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 4:42 am

Fidelity Investments is getting creative in its efforts to woo millennials into greater interest of the financial stock market, launching StockCity. The software uses a 3D mapping tool and feels similar to SimCity, providing virtual structures that analyze 90-day trade volume and market caps of selected stocks. StockCity also is available for the Oculus Rift, blending virtual reality with data visualization, providing a unique method to view your personal stock portfolio.

 

 

"Fidelity's target one with a bullet is the boomers," said Bill Doyle, Forrester Research VP, in a statement. "But if they don't pay attention to the next generation - which has a decidedly different feel, with a strong bias to digital touch points - they run the risk of being iced out by some upstart. They expect their best experience to come from software, as opposed to coming from a human being."

Continue reading 'Fidelity Investments launches 'StockCity' to woo millennials' (full post)

Major bans slammed on pro CS:GO players before its biggest tournament

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 4:29 am

In just a week's time, the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament kicks off, with DreamHack Open: Winter seeing two teams disqualified already. Three professional CS:GO players have also been issued in-game bans for cheating, which has lead to some heated headlines before the tournament.

 

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The first player to receive the slam of the ban hammer was banned from ESEA, which is a third-party matchmaking client for CS:GO, with this player alleging that as much as 40% of the pro CS:GO scene hacks. The three pro CS:GO gamers that were issued in-game bans for cheating are Simon "smn" Beck, Gordon "Sf" Giry and Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian. Sf and KQLY were banned on Valve Anti-Cheat, or VAC.

 

DreamHack is a gigantic Swedish gaming event, which is also referred to as the "World's Largest LAN Party", with a $250,000 prize pool for CS:GO alone.

IM app 'Slack' lets employers tap their staff conversations

By: Chris Smith | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 4:09 am

Sometimes as a boss, you've got to be sitting there in your executive chair wondering what your staff are doing at that exact moment. Are they planning world domination, are they doing hard work or are they on Reddit?

 

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Well, if they're discussing that "ludicrous display last night" (See: IT Crowd) over instant messaging app 'Slack' - they could now be in some hot water. Slack's upcoming paid Plus plan includes a handy new feature named "Compliance Exports".

 

Announced to the public on Monday, Compliance Exports will make you feel like more of a vicious dictator than ever before, allowing management to peak into their employee's private communications - public and private. They've also included the ability to edit your workers messages or mark them for deletion - helping manage any conversation as you see fit.

Continue reading 'IM app 'Slack' lets employers tap their staff conversations' (full post)

Driveclub problems on PS4: 'you can't effectively test' these issues

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Nov 25, 2014 3:28 am

When the PS4 exclusive 'Driveclub' launched, it was met with a slew of issues, and post-launch updates and fixes. But for those who want to know why there wasn't any additional in-house testing before it launched, the Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) President and CEO, Shawn Layden, has some nice words to say.

 

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Layden explained the issues, saying that games like Driveclub, and their online communities, cannot be tested thoroughly before launching the game itself. He continued: "In the development cycle, we try to do all things. In the development cycle, we try to test against every possibility. We have a [Quality Assurance] team, we have a QA plan. You do a beta test, you scope against that. But now, in a connected world, you can't effectively test in your house or in your beta group what it means to have 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 users hit your service. And the guys [at the studio] are struggling with that. It's throwing up things they had not anticipated".

 

Evolution Studios, the developer behind the open-world driving game has continued its path toward a fully-baked game, even offering free DLC and extending Season Passes.

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