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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2051

Apple hires watchmaker to help design next, even thinner MacBook Air

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Apr 28, 2014 2:31 am

Apple's next-gen MacBook Air will arrive as an 11.6-inch device, but the feats of engineering required to get it thinner than the already-thin MacBook Air we all know and love have seen the company hire another watchmaker, according to our friends over at MobileGeek.

 

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MobileGeek's sources in the supply industry claim that Apple's next MacBook Air will be "even thinner, lighter, and above all more compact". According to people familiar with the matter, Apple has hired an extra watchmaker for the development of the new MBA. The watchmaker has the experience in working with highly complex, and very small components.

 

What Apple wants to see, is an 11.6-inch MacBook Air released, but on the dimensions of the classic 10.1-inch netbook form factor. If there's a company that can get the engineering and design right, it's Apple. It should be quite the small notebook when released later this year.

Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana, is banned from talking to kids

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 28, 2014 1:30 am

Microsoft's voice-activated personal assistant that is baked into the company's Windows Phone OS will be not be capable of speaking to anyone under the age of 13, according to CNET.

 

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Why? Because Cortana is capable of collecting data on its users in order for it to better assist users in finding answers to their questions. This data is collected and sent to Microsoft services, meaning the voice-activated personal assistant falls under the purview of United States' Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998.

 

COPPA restricts the information that children share online, or data that can be collected from them, without parents' permission. But for now, Cortana sits in the beta state, with the issue on a forum for Windows Phone developers, with one developer wanting to help his daughter use Cortana. The bigger issue at hand is that Cortana can only know a users age if she is told their age, it can't recognize grade voice patterns for someone's age... yet.

A working Pip-Boy 3000 has been thanks to NASA's SpaceApps Challenge

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 11:55 pm

Most people who have played Fallout 3 loved the idea of the wearable Pip-Boy 3000 device, well, a five-member group called Team Reno have done just that - created a Pip-Boy 3000 like device.

 

 

Team Reno created the device as part of NASA's SpaceApps Challenge, which saw designers creating wearable technology for future space travelers. Team Reno's device was capable of displaying relative humidity, altitude, latitude and longitude, atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, object temperature, and radiation levels.

 

The team wrote about their entry, saying: "We wanted to make a piece of popular science fiction into a reality so we chose the Pip-Boy 3000 from the game Fallout 3. The goal was to bring environmental sensors into an easy-to-use cuff device that could help a wearer determine if their environment is safe for navigation or helmet removal".

Continue reading 'A working Pip-Boy 3000 has been thanks to NASA's SpaceApps Challenge' (full post)

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hit by data breach

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 9:11 pm

Personal information of almost 27,000 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) employees has been exposed in a data breach first reported in February. For all employees with their Social Security Numbers stolen, they have received an advisory letter informing them that personal information is at risk.

 

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"As of today, 788 employees have been the victims of tax fraud," according to Gloria Kreps, UPMC spokesperson. "We want to assure our patients that no patient information was breached. We are continuing to work with the IRS, Secret Service and FBI to determine the source of the breach. We continue to urge our employees to register with LifeLock as an important step to deter any additional fraudulent activity."

 

A previous UPMC statement reported just 322 affected employees following the breach, though that number is expected to go up. It's still unsure how the information was stolen, though criminals did find success filing fraudulent tax returns for UPMC workers.

Android mobile security still developing, as private sector steps up

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 8:17 pm

Mobile security solutions designed to protect smartphones and tablets continues to evolve, and consumers should make use of such solutions, researchers point out. The Google Android platform, which is extremely popular worldwide, also has been targeted by cybercriminals trying to compromise devices.

 

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Companies such as Samsung, which relies heavily on Android for its smartphones and tablets, has worked to ensure hardware boosts Android security efforts. Meanwhile, security companies are ramping up production of security software designed to keep users safer from malware, viruses, and other threats.

 

"The main task of a mobile security solution is to secure user data from cybercriminal actions and prevent the device from turning into a source of spam or other cyberattacks," said Viktor Chebyshev, Kaspersky Lab Mobile Threat Research Group Manager, in a press statement. "When a user chooses a solution, its impact on the device's performance often becomes a major factor. So it is important that a security product for smartphones and tablets ensures high-level protection against cyberthreats and, at the same time, does not affect the user experience."

McAfee: Online gambling provides method to commit money laundering

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 6:45 pm

An increase in the popularity of online gambling has created a successful underground market for money laundering, according to a new McAfee study.

 

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To make matters worse, Internet anonymity and such a wide variety of payment options gives criminals the chance to exchange stolen funds, bitcoins, and currency.

 

"As a result, illegal proceeds can be laundered by wagering them on one end of a transaction and receiving the payouts as gambling wins on the other end," according to the McAfee report. "Gambling wins can also be exchanged as payment for illegal goods or services changing hands elsewhere."

Continue reading 'McAfee: Online gambling provides method to commit money laundering' (full post)

Department of Homeland Security struggling to increase cybersecurity

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 5:42 pm

The United States government and military face a hiring shortage of skilled cybersecurity experts, at a time when improving security on PCs and networks from foreign threat is a major effort. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is struggling due to complicated layers of bureaucracy that the government is notorious for installing.

 

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"It's self-inflicted damage, it's not that they need something from Congress," said Alan Paller, co-chairman of a board designed to recommend how the DHS can improve its cybersecurity methods. "I called this out as a key issue or critical issue, which I don't think is solved."

 

Cybersecurity experts often find the private sector to be more lucrative, and tend to find it easier and more efficient to hire new staff. A Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said the DHS will receive a streamlined ability to hire workers, but that in itself has proven to be a difficult task to work through.

Continue reading 'Department of Homeland Security struggling to increase cybersecurity' (full post)

Twitch is seeing more viewership than ESPN, WWE streaming

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 12:31 pm

If you have heard or know about Twitch, then you'll know how big it is - but just how big? Well, according to video solutions company Qwilt, Twitch is leading the live video streaming game in the United States, by a long shot.

 

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Twitch is currently enjoying a massive 43.6% of all live streaming viewership in the US, with its closest competitor WWE only seeing 17.7%. Even Ustream only pulls in 10.9%, while ESPN is struggling with 6.3%. Qwilt describes Twitch as "Yankee Stadium, Lambeau Field, Madison Square Garden, Estadia Do Maracana and Wembley all rolled into one" on its website. Most would look at that and laugh, but with those streaming numbers, how can you say otherwise?

A number of Galaxy S5's are experiencing issues with their camera

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 11:27 am

It seems that there are a number of people experiencing issues with their brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones, where the camera is popping up with a "Warning: Camera Failed" error.

 

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Affected users are being asked to contact Samsung's customer care, with the company stating: "We have learned that a limited number of Galaxy S5 devices may have an issue that causes 'Camera Failure' pop-up error message. We ask that customers affected call 1-888-987-4357 or visit their carrier for service under Samsung's standard limited warranty".

 

Then when typing up this news, I remembered writing about Samsung reportedly having issues manufacturing enough of the cameras for the Galaxy S5 last month. Samsung was reportedly having troubles getting the 16-megapixel rear-facing camera modules thin enough to fit into the already-thin frame on its now-available flagship smartphone.

Facebook is experiencing a major outage, News Feeds are affected

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 27, 2014 10:23 am

For a few hours now I've been unable to properly load my Facebook News Feed, but it looks like I'm not the only one. My Facebook News Feed - when it loads - has a few people complaining about it.

 

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The problem - for me at least - is a two-parter. First, if my News Feed loads, I can pull down around 4-5 status updates from friends or pages I've 'liked'. If not, my News Feed doesn't appear at all, with blank placeholders in the News Feeds place. There are also users reporting an error that says "No content in this feed" on mobile.

 

The problem appears to be fixed for some, for myself, and many others, the problem seems to still persist - hopefully for now.

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