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Lizard Squad's DDoS attack service hacked, as pressure mounts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 9:32 pm

Unknown cybercriminals breached the Lizard Squad's LizardStresser distributed denial of service (DDoS) service, which serves customers as an attack-for-hire tool. There are more than 14,000 registered users, with $11,000 collected via bitcoin to help pay for DDoS attacks against thousands of website URLs and IP addresses.




The Lizard Squad reportedly brought down Microsoft Xbox Live and Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) to promote its service.


Lizard Squad appears to have a number of younger members contributing to its cybercriminal operation, though several reported members have been arrested across the world. However, core members of the group still haven't been identified and arrested, so future cyberattacks are expected to continue against higher-profile targets.

Facebook increasingly hiring to fill growing virtual reality ambitions

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 9:10 pm

For software and hardware experts with a focus on virtual reality, Facebook - which acquired Oculus Rift last year - plans to increase virtual reality hiring up to 14 percent in the immediate future. The company continues to enjoy high profit margins, with strong revenue and a workforce smaller than other leading Silicon Valley tech companies.




Facebook has a specific focus on its Oculus VR headsets, with 54 new positions geared towards employees with virtual reality experience.


"We are an ambitious company run by an ambitious CEO," said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in a statement to Reuters. "Our users are growing and our business is growing and we want to support that."

Russian hacker fighting extradition to US and back to Russia

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 9:01 pm

Russian hacker Vladimir Drinkman faces a final extradition ruling later this month, where US officials hope he is transferred from a Dutch prison to the United States.




Drinkman and an alleged accomplice in the cybercriminal ring that stole millions of debit and credit card numbers, Dmitriy Smilianets, were arrested while on holiday in Amsterdam. They were part of a group that caused more than $300 million losses to companies, while selling cards for $10, $15, or $50 apiece.


"'Hacker' is an elastic notion," Drinkman told Bloomberg Businessweek. "Now every third person is called a hacker because he has technical skills, and not because he is actually using them."

Continue reading 'Russian hacker fighting extradition to US and back to Russia' (full post)

UCSF Medical Center using robots to help conduct hospital activities

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 8:31 pm

The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center at Mission Bay officially opens on Sunday, February 1, and will make use of 25 autonomous robots. Each robot is pre-programmed with the hospital's floor plans, and can autonomously navigate the best route to get to assigned areas - taking supplies to and from labs, stock rooms, the pharmacy and kitchen.




The robot is unable to answer voice commands, but can say 70 different phrases to communicate with staff and visitors. Furthermore, it has 30 onboard infrared and sonar sensors, a laser and camera, providing better ability to avoid collisions.


"Tissue samples, blood samples need to get from point A to point B very fast," said Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley professor of robotics, in a statement to CNET. "You can't afford to wait for someone to show up. The robot that never gets distracted, never stops for coffee, could be great for these critical deliveries."

Continue reading 'UCSF Medical Center using robots to help conduct hospital activities' (full post)

Glorious Leader! video game parodying Kim Jong-Un hacked

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 7:10 pm

Moneyhorse, the developer of the Glorious Leader! 2D video game featuring Kim Jong-un from North Korea, was hacked and its Kickstarter campaign page was deleted. The game title collected $16,816 of its hopeful $55,000 goal - not likely to reach the anticipated goal - with mistakes made during its Kickstarter campaign.




The game developer doesn't think the Guardians of Peace (GOP) hacker group played a role in the breach, but admitted it is reevaluating its decision to move forward with the title.


"The hackers destroyed data pertaining to Glorious Leader! And other projects we had in development and locked us out of our own computers and website," according to a Moneyhorse update. "The timing couldn't have been worse as it hampered our ability to attend to the Kickstarter project."

NASA uses CPU from the original PlayStation in a probe sent to Pluto

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 11:47 am

A bit of a weird one for the world today: NASA has repurposed the the original processor that powered the first PlayStation from Sony in its probe sent to Pluto.




The MIPS R3000 CPU was the chip found in the original PlayStation, but NASA is using the CPU to control thrusters, guidance, and other systems in its probe to Pluto. The processor has been "radiation hardened" to survive the harsh elements of the sea of stars that we call space, too. The PlayStation may have used a 33MHz R3051 CPU, but the New Horizons spacecraft features a 12MHz Mongoose-V CPU.


An Imagination spokesman told Electronics Weekly: "It is found in workstations and servers designed by companies such as Evans & Sutherland, DEC, Silicon Graphics, Tandem Computers and Whitechapel Workstation. Most notably, it was the CPU chosen for the original PlayStation game console from Sony and is still being used by Toshiba in a range of microcontrollers". Seven years after it launched, the New Horizons spacecraft has "awoken" and is taking a look at Jupiter. It is a whopping 3.5 billion miles from the Sun, and should start orbiting the dwarf planet soon.

Continue reading 'NASA uses CPU from the original PlayStation in a probe sent to Pluto' (full post)

PS4 exclusive 'The Order: 1886' goes gold, new trailer released

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 11:32 am

One of the biggest launches on the PlayStation 4 this year is definitely 'The Order: 1886' from Ready at Dawn and SCE Santa Monica Studios. The game has been delayed, but it provided the developer with more time to get used to the additional power under the hood of the PS4, as well as fix up the game before it was released instead of launching it and it being broken like most games of 2014.



The studio has announced the game has gone gold, and released a new trailer to the game to tease fans before the big launch on February 20. Between the last couple of videos of The Order: 1886 and this latest trailer, we can see some improvements in the graphics and the game itself. Something that's nice to see after it was delayed, providing the studio with more time to get things right.

Continue reading 'PS4 exclusive 'The Order: 1886' goes gold, new trailer released' (full post)

The Witcher 3 will require 6GB of RAM, but 8GB is recommended

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 11:09 am

We've seen the last year or so filled with games that are requiring 6GB of RAM or more, such as Assassin's Creed: Unity, Watch Dogs, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and more. Well, CD Projekt Red's delayed title The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also requires 6GB of RAM.




The developer actually recommends that you have 8GB of RAM, but 6GB of RAM is required at a minimum. As for the CPU side of things, you'll need an Intel Core i5-2500K or an AMD Phenom II X4 940 to run the game at a minimum, while the developer recommends gamers to have an Intel Core i7-3770 or AMD FX-8350.


The GPU side of things isn't too bad, with the minimum requirements at an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 while the recommended specs want you to have a much higher-end GTX 770 or R9 290. A 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 is required, as well as 40GB of free HDD space.

Dota 2 now rocking along with more than 10 million gamers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 8:23 am

Dota 2 has surpassed 10 million gamers logging in each month, with the Valve title evolving into one of the most popular multiplayer online battle arena style video games.




Dota 2 has also shown the lucrative potential of e-sports, as large numbers of people enjoy watching elite Dota 2 gamers battle. MOBA video games involve small teams competing online, and should help promote e-sports further in 2015.


Dota was released in July 2013, and has much work to do if it hopes to catch up to League of Legends, which has almost 70 million gamers playing each month.

US Army Research Laboratory working on battery that doesn't corrode

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jan 18, 2015 8:13 am

The US Army Research Laboratory is developing a new type of battery for the battlefield, with scientists testing different materials. Ideally, they want to create a battery that corrodes slower - if it all - and the rechargeable batteries have less charge/discharge cycles, while increasing stability during high-voltage scenarios.




Over the next few months, the ARL team wants to begin evaluations of larger battery cells from commercial manufacturers, so they are able to analyze safety and performance. If approved, the ARL will have created new batteries that are lighter and can last longer during use in tough environments.


"We help to develop new battery materials that are lighter and last longer for the Soldier, so he doesn't have to carry so many batteries," said Cynthia Lundgren, Chief of the Electrochemistry Branch of the Power and Energy Division in the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate. "If we could raise the voltage of a single cell - energy density is a direct function of the voltage - we could make the battery lighter."

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