Former NSA analyst Will Ackerly and his brother, John Ackerly, are the co-founders of Virtru, a startup security company helping users encrypt e-mails and digital communications. Unlike other encryption solutions, Virtru allows users to encrypt information - and send it - and has an extremely easy user interface to ensure neither user needs to be overly tech savvy.
The Virtru plugin easily and quickly encrypts e-mails and other contents using AES 256 encryption standard, and senders must have the plugin installed. However, recipients only need to authenticate their identity with an e-mail address, and Virtru holds the decryption key.
"What we've tried to do - and what's different from what a lot of encrypted communication tools out there have done - is really spend time to integrate the encryption technology directly into Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com," John Ackerly, Virtru CTO, in a statement to the media.
Virtru currently has plugin extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, with customized versions for Internet Explorer and Safari expected soon. For mobile devices, Virtru is available for iOS 7, and will be available for Google Android sometime in the near future.
Following the continued controversy of former NSA analyst Edward Snowden's widespread snooping documents, consumers are increasingly worried about government spying.
Sprint and SoftBank are trying to determine if a continued effort to acquire T-Mobile is worth the trouble, as antitrust officials want to keep as much competition alive as possible. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and Chairman Masayoshi Son reportedly have met with U.S. Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials, though trying to convince antitrust officials to approve the deal will be difficult.
When AT&T, currently the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, expressed interest in purchasing T-Mobile a few years ago, the deal was almost instantly shot down. It would be hard to imagine the No. 3 wireless carrier being allowed to successfully acquire T-Mobile, which is No. 4, especially after SoftBank purchased majority stake in the company.
"A few years ago only AT&T and Verizon were growing," said tech analyst Jeff Kagan. "At that time T-Mobile and Sprint were in trouble. Since that time things are starting to change. T-Mobile got a new CEO and has started to grow once again. Sprint has been acquired by Softbank and has not started to grow yet, but we are hoping to see that growth begin sooner rather than later."
Consumers trying to sign up for wireless service have more appealing, competitively priced voice, texting and data plans available.
Thousands of visitors attending and participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, landed directly in the city located alongside the Black Sea. 3D camera technology company Artec Group is helping Russian security forces with a new system pairing 3D cameras with facial recognition software - and the security could find its way to the United States and European Union (EU) nations soon.
Artec's software can accurately distinguish between twins, can accurately work despite disguises - though security experts are already about potential privacy concerns. Artec Group also has plans to open a showroom and 3D printing location in a town near its headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Securities using sophisticated software and hardware are important for keeping the Olympics safe, as it has been a popular terror target in the past. However, this type of software could be used for national defense purposes, an active ability to quickly check visitors through crime and terror databases.
The FBI believes cyber criminals have successfully targeted Target, Neiman Marcus, and other major retailers using security holes that could have been blocked by retailers.
Target suffered the most significant data breach of recent companies, with more than 70 million customers affected, as the company still deals with public backlash. The Target breach reportedly is tied to a third-party HVAC contractor, and Target likely thought there were no security holes present, but the card data shouldn't have been available in the same corporate network locations.
Security experts warn of similar point-of-sale - and Internet-based threats - should raise alarm bells, especially with a few businesses that haven't come forward. The FBI didn't disclose which major retailers haven't come forward, though "remote management software" was related to cyber crimes carried out against the company.
Ice hockey, maple syrup, Bieber and... Internet piracy? The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) recently recommended Canada's addition to the Special 301 "watch list." There is special interest in the number of torrent sites and online piracy groups that are based in Canada, including a wide collection of smaller torrent sites.
"Even after the shuttering of Isohunt, Canada is still the home to some of the world's most popular Internet sites dedicated to piracy, including Torrentz.eu and Kickass.to, which garnered rankings of third and second place, respectively, on one of the most widely accessed listings on the world's most popular illicit BitTorrent sites," the IIPA claims.
The IIPA is made up of the RIAA, MPAA, ESA, BSA, and other copyright groups that share information, effective anti-piracy measures, and current legal efforts. IIPA officials would like to see U.S. lawmakers influence Canadian peers to crack down more harshly on piracy.
The Obama administration is having a difficult time internally battling whether or not to launch a coordinated air strike against a U.S. citizen reportedly planning attacks as an active al-Qaida member. The CIA has the unnamed citizen under surveillance, but the Justice Department still hasn't built a strong enough case for the strike.
"An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year," an official told Associated Press.
However, the target is reportedly located in a well-guarded, remote region, so manned missions to capture him are unlikely.
The use of drone strikes continues to be a controversial topic, with officials in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nations publicly voicing displeasure over UAV attacks. To complicate matters further, many U.S. citizens don't like the idea of targeting U.S. citizens for immediate execution without arrest and trial.
Today, Verizon announced that it will finally be selling and activating Google's Nexus 7 tablet with LTE capabilities. The Tablet will go on sale later this week just in time for Valentines day, and can be added to existing share everything plans for just $10 more per month. The Tablet itself will run consumers $249 with a 2-year agreement or $349 straight up.
This announcement ends months of user complaints from Verizon denying activation of LTE based Nexus 7 tablets on its network. Verizon says that the activation issues stemmed from the LTE chip utilized in tablet, but some consumers seem to think Verizon did not want to activate tablets that it did not profit from. This led to some Nexus 7 owners filing complaints with the FCC over the issue. Verizon of course denied all of these allegations and with today's announcement seems to have ended the issue once and for all.
BlackBerry's downward spiral may have slowed as of late, but the once king of the smartphone is not out of the water yet. Today new rumors have surfaces that detail what the company's next phone may be like. The smarphone said to be a beast of a model, featuring a eight-core CPU and more.
Based on the 20-nm Snapdragon MSM8994 chipset, the octa-core CPU will be of 64-bit design and will be clocked at speeds up to 2.5GHz. 4GB of LPDDR4 will also be present and an Ardreno 430 CPU will handle graphics crunching duties. The phone will be in the 4.5-inch to 5.25-inch range, with a screen resolution of at least 1080p at the least. Unfortunately we are not likely to see this phone released until 2015 at the earliest, and even then it is likely to be an enterprise only release.
Batman: Arkham Origins has been plagued with issues since launch, and it appears that its developer, Warner Bros Montreal, has no plan on any further patches to fix the games remaining bugs. In a support post on the game's official forums, a developer revealed that the development studio is not planning any future patches to fix issues with the game. Instead, Warner Bros Montreal will focus on bringing new DLC to the game.
"Hi all, the team is currently working hard on the upcoming story DLC and there currently are no plans for releasing another patch to address the issues that have been reported on the forums," said the forum post. "If we do move forward with creating a new patch, it will try to address the progression blocking bugs for players, not the minor glitches that do not prevent one from continuing to play. The issues that are not progression blockers will unfortunately no longer be addressed. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused for some of you, and want to thank you for having been patient."
The thread was quickly inundated with post from angry gamers, and rightfully so. When you spend upwards of $60 on a game and commit to different DLC packs at additional cost, you expect that the game will work out of the box, and expect any issues that may arise to be taken care of swiftly. This is just a small segment in a long list of games that have been released with lots of bugs in recent years which have either taken quite a while to address of even be addressed at all.
The casino industry in the United States understands the great potential for online gambling, though underage gambling, money laundering, and increasingly difficult national legislation makes it a rather confusing battle.
The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling recently launched an ad effort to warn against Internet gambling, with an emphasis on criminals and terrorists potentially using the online service to commit money laundering. Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, who supports the coalition's effort, said he's ready to spend "whatever it takes" to keep online gambling out of the limelight in the United States.
"The coalition will operate exclusively at the federal level - encouraging Congress to embrace regulation as the best means to protect minors, detect money launders and eliminate a dangerous black market," Geoff Freeman, American Gaming Association President, recently noted.
Casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City aren't as keen on Internet gambling, as they are concerned that online sites will keep people from visiting casinos. However, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, with support from Caesar's and MGM, for example, want to throw their weight into the potential market.