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The Department of Homeland Security has announced that a public utility company in the US has been compromised. It's unclear which utility company was hacked at this time. Homeland Security says that the utility's control system was accessible via internet-facing hosts and used a simple password system.
The system was compromised using a brute-force attack with the hackers trying different passwords until a correct one was found. Investigators say that the systems at the utility company were exposed to numerous security threats and previous intrusion activity was noted.
VR headsets have been in the news a lot of late with the major purchase of the Oculus Rift VR headset and talk of Sony Project Morpheus. The problem with those two VR headsets is that they are very expensive. An Oculus Rift will set you back around $350 and when it gets old, you need to spend that much again to upgrade.
A new VR headset has turned up in Europe called the Virzzmo. Rather than being an actual headset like the Oculus, this device is a harness system for your head that will hold your smartphone in front of your face. It doesn't only hold your smartphone in front of your face, it also has some optical lenses inside that can turn what you see into stereoscopic 3D.
Verizon Wireless has announced the launch of a new high-speed wireless service called XLTE. XLTE is actually a rebranding of an existing offering that Verizon has had for a while previously called AWS. AWS is a 700 MHz spectrum that will be called XLTE in the markets where it is offered moving forward.
Verizon says that the new XLTE service will allow devices capable of operating on that network to get faster data speeds and additional bandwidth during high-traffic periods on the network. Sprint made a similar move to get bandwidth for people to use during peak times with its Spark service.
Action camera maker GoPro is expected to raise around $100 million during its initial public offering (IPO), though investors might be initially hesitant to jump onboard. GoPro's revenue in 2013 was $985 million, an 87 percent year-over-year increase in 2012, as net income also nearly doubled from $32 million up to $61 million in 2013.
GoPro announced its plans to go public in February, after the SEC approved the paperwork during its confidential submission. Despite GoPro's popularity among athletes, the tech industry has been relatively harsh for companies trying to go public - but GoPro's ability to ramp up profitability should help reassure investors that GoPro going public can be successful.
However, revenue growth is slowing - and competition is increasing, with a number of companies offering similar high-definition sports cameras - though GoPro remains the most recognizable brand name currently available.
Groupon has rolled out a new checkout system for companies that use its groupon promotion business service. The new checkout system is based on an iPad and the company expects the new checkout system to be adopted by tens of thousands of business that offer Groupon deals.
The new checkout system lets business track cash and debit card transactions. The iPad device replaces a traditional register. Customers will redeem Groupon vouchers by telling the cashier their name. Customers who have the Groupon app on their smartphone and have Bluetooth loaded will see their discount recognized automatically when they enter the store.
Currently, Netflix has a navigation scheme that relies mostly on grids of shows that you may or may not be interested in. There are some shows that are recommended for you based on your past watching habits. Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt has talked a bit about what the company sees for the future recently.
Hunt says that the streaming video service will eventually move beyond the grids of movies and TV shows that we see currently. In the future, the service will be mostly based on recommended content for users to enjoy. Hunt said, "Our vision is, you won't see a grid and you won't see a sea of titles."
Twitter is eyeing a new move into music and podcast sharing according to reports. People familiar with dealings at twitter and SoundCloud say that twitter is considering an acquisition of SoundCloud.
SoundCloud is a free service that lets users upload audio files to share with others. The service is said to be a sort of YouTube for audio and currently has about 250 million users. At this time, there is no guarantee that the deal will move forward.
If you use your smartphone or tablet a lot when you are away from an outlet, you have undoubtedly been left without enough charge to make calls or check email at some point. In New York City, AT&T has put in solar charging stations in some parts of the city to help people get a free and green charge for their devices.
The wireless carrier has announced that it will be adding additional solar charging stations around NYC to give more users the ability to charge up a dead device or top off a battery while on the go around the city. AT&T has added 45 new solar charging stations, nearly doubling the number of solar chargers available. The first of the charges went into use in 2013.
Wireless provider Sprint has been hit with the largest FCC fine ever levied for violating the do not call list. The fine totaled $7.5 million and the FCC has given Sprint a compliance plan that will ensure violations of the do not call list don't happen again. Sprint customers on the do not call list were being called by telemarketers.
The FCC says that Sprint had continued to call and send text messages for marketing to subscribers to its network that were on the do not call list. This most recent violation comes after Sprint had agreed to stop violating the do not call list with the FCC in 2011.
When the news broke that Twitch was being acquired by YouTube - which is owned by Google - for $1 billion, it shocked most. But, did people really think that Twitch only had a single offer? No, no it did not.
YouTube is having to fight against other interested parties, which includes Microsoft. Google and Twitch have agreed on the price, and are now reportedly working on the details of the deal, such as just how independent Twitch and its brand will be once it is fully acquired by YouTube. Twitch has reportedly looked at competing bids, but chose YouTube as it felt like the company was the best suited to its massive growth over the recent years.
Twitch has the aim of being the definitive platform for watching and streaming live video gaming, where it thinks Google can provide the means to get there.