Recent costly data breaches targeting brick and mortar retailers have led to an uptick in insurance coverage focused on data breaches, including when customer data is lost or stolen. Almost one in three companies have some form of insurance coverage to aid in cyber threats - and cyber insurance policies jumped 20 percent in 2013, according to a New York insurance company.
However, the increased insurance prices will lead to higher consumer prices, even if it doesn't lead to an easier time for customers with stolen information to work through the layers of bureaucracy. The insurance policies help cover data loss costs, including Target's decision to hire forensic investigators, along with providing credit monitoring and public relations efforts to salvage public perception.
Following the Target breach, in which more than 70 million customers were affected, there has been a drastic increase in cyber insurance, according to industry officials.
In the wake of Flappy Bird being pulled from the mobile app scene, both Google and Apple have now began to deny entry to any app with the word Flappy in its title from being uploaded to their respective app marketplaces. Both companies made the decision to ban further apps from being uploaded if they had "Flappy" in the title due to the sheer number of clones popping up, many of which featured ad baiting, or even malware.
Unfortunately, many of the apps that made it into the mix before the ban was enacted will be allowed to stay, so it is up to users to report any apps that do not feature a legit game. Apple's has additional reason for banning the "Flappy" clones as well, saying that it has a strict policy against clone apps that "leverage" the success of a popular app. It's been a little more than a week since Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen, pulled the app because it was proving to be too addictive to its users, and with more clones popping up every day, I feel that Apple and Google made the right move here.
One of the most anticipated games of 2014 is Titanfall . We mentioned late last month that the demo for the game was coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC gamers giving us all a chance to check to the game before the official launch.
The game beta is available now and some gamer geeks have already set about data mining the demo code looking for hints at what goodies we can expect in the final production version of the game. Among the details that data miner dug up are the names of all 13 maps the game will offer and a bunch of power ups.
The new maps include Boneyard, Smugglers Cove, Airbase, Colony, Corporate, Lagoon, Nexus, O2, Outpost 207, Overlook, Relic, Rise, and Training Ground. We also know a few of the game modes that will come in the full version, or at least we think we know. The game modes were in the form of abbreviations in the beta code and some educated guesses were made on what those abbreviations mean.
A self replicating worm called "TheMoon" is taking advantage of an authentication vulnerability found in Linksys E-Series routers product line-up. This was discovered by SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center who immediately posted a warning when Linksys E1000 and E1200 were found to be scanning IP address ranges on ports 80 and 8080.
The worm infects Linksys E-Series routers as it exploits an authentication bypass vulnerability on the firmware. ISC explained that the worm would first connect to port 8080 and if its necessary, it uses /HNAP1/ URL. This would prompt an xml formatted list of the router and the firmware details. Once the worm learns the required information, it exploits the vulnerable script in the firmware which allows access to such routers without authentication credentials. The worm simply spreads itself and stifles the remaining bandwidth. The worm is a 2MB file and it has a list of about 670 networks from different countries.
While several advances have been made in traffic light technology over the years, nothing has really been done to improve the visual warning motorist get from the systems. As it sits right now, most countries use the standard three-light system for their traffic signals. Red means stop, yellow means prepare to stop / caution, and green means go, but the lights are usually six-inches in diameter and do little to catch the attention of motorist who are not focused on the road.
A concept drawing from artist, Hanyoung lee, is showing us a new way to think about how traffic lights of the future may look. Gone are the small, barely noticeable, three-light setups which have been replaced by a very modern, highly visible hologram system that is based on plasma laser beam technology. Hanyoung Lee's system uses an array of lasers to project a ten-foot tall virtual wall across the street with beams forming silhouettes of crossing pedestrians.
Hanyoung Lee says this his inspiration for this concept is based on the increasing pedestrian deaths that occur at pedestrian crosswalks every year in his home country of Korea. He says that traditional traffic lights are overshadowed by large electronic advertising signs, and the focus is lost at these intersections because the lights are less visible. His design would be impossible to miss due to its size, and wall-like appearance.
The next generation console wars are raging with the PS4 and Xbox One gathering diehard fans to each side. If you are a fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise that likes high-resolution graphics, you probably want to get the coming title Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on the PS4. Ground Zeroes is the prologue to the game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is said to be much larger than Ground Zeroes.
Konami recently offered up some details on the Ground Zeroes games that will be available on game consoles. The publisher confirmed that Ground Zeroes would run natively at 1080p and 60 frames per second on the PS4.
Xbox One gamers on the other hand will be limited to a native resolution of 720p at 60 fps. Ground Zeroes will be offered on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as well with each of those versions running at 720p using internal scaling. However, the older consoles will only support 30 fps frame rates.
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has just announced that it has developed a workaround for the software bug that forced it to suspend all Bitcoin withdrawal transactions last week. The fix was developed in partnership with Blockchain.info, and Mt. Gox said that it has been implemented into its system and will prevent any fraudulent use of the malleability issue that shut down the system.
Mt. Gox says that along with the implementation of the malleability fix, withdrawals will resume "soon," and that the new system will be rolled out at a moderate pace. The new system also features new daily and monthly withdrawal limits that are designed to limit adverse effects on the exchange system based on current market conditions. Mt. Gox said that it is currently re-indexing the entire Blockchain of about 32 million entries, deploying the new NTX ID system, and implementing a new Bitcoin withdrawal queue that will undergo further testing before withdrawals are reinstated.
We should know more by this Thursday when Mt. Gox is expected to make another announcement on its plans to bring withdrawal transactions back online. At the moment the lack of withdrawals is seriously hurting Bitcoin prices on Mt. Gox, with a single Bitcoin now trading at about $320. That means that Bitcoins have fallen more than $300 since withdrawals were suspended. Until things return to normal, I fully expect to see Bitcoin's fall further on the third largest Bitcoin exchange.
Reports are floating around that Apple mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica has met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The thought of Apple's mergers and acquisitions head meeting with Musk seems to indicate that Apple might be considering stepping into the automotive market in a much bigger way than it has with Siri Eyes Free.
The meeting happened last spring according to a source claiming to be familiar with the meeting. It would be strange for Apple to actually step into the car market. Tesla and Apple are both known as innovative companies. Apple has some of the most successful tech products on the market like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
Tesla on the other hand has one of the best electric vehicles on the market with the Model S. Neither Tesla nor Apple has offered any official comments on the rumored meeting, which certainly is no surprise. It's unclear what Tesla might gain from Apple other than deep pockets. Apple would presumably gain another platform for its technology in the form of its own car.
The agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is currently researching the possibility of increasing storage capacity of the Heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) storage drives. The A*STAR institute in Singapore conducted investigations iron-platinum (FePt) nanocrystals can be used in ultra high density magnetic drive's performance.
Zhanhong Cen who is working at the A*STAR data institute said that,"Decreasing the size of magnetic particles makes the magnetic information become thermally unstable due to an effect called super paramagnetism. FePt nanoparticles are very promising, because for these nanoparticles, super paramagnetism is suppressed at room temperature." Cen also added that his simulations showed that introducing carbon into FePt nanocomposite boosts optical performance. This also helps to maintain the drive more energy efficient when reading and writing data as it required smaller optical spot for recording data.
A new leak has sprung today regarding Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5's display resolution. The next-gen smartphone was outed in a supposed screenshot of its system info screen that says the S5's screen will be of the 5.25-inch class, and will have a refresh rate of 60Hz. However, the big news is not the screen size, but rather the 1440x2560 pixel resolution the leak unveils.
This leak all but confirms that the Galaxy S5 will feature a full QHD 2K display with a pixel density of 560 pixels per inch, making it one of the sharpest screens ever featured on a smartphone. What this means for the consumer, is that unlike 720p and 1080p, you will not notice any "screen door effect" when looking at the display up close. This is because anything above 300 pixels per inch is undetectable by the human eye.
This new screen resolution from Samsung also demonstrates Android's ability to grow the smartphone marketplace and push the technology to new heights with every new generation. In just 2 generations we have went from 720p all the way up to 2K resolutions on main-stream phones, while Apple is still stuck on its Retina technology, that was first introduced on the fourth generation iPhone 4. With the seventh generation iPhone 5S still featuring the same technology, Samsung is the clear leader in display technology at the moment.