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Apple and Tesla Motors team up to release iPhone-colored Model S cars

By: Charles Gantt | More News: BREAKING STORY | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 1:26 pm

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS!

 

This morning Tesla Motors announced it is teaming up with Apple to design and release a special edition of Tesla's Model S electric vehicle that matches perfectly, the colored anodized finish of Apple's iPhone 5S smartphone models. This news puts an end to months of speculation surrounding a secret, behind-the-scenes meeting between Elon Musk, Tim Cook and Apple & Tesla executives.

 

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"This partnership signifies both Apple and Tesla Motor's commitment to releasing products that its users demand as well as continuing the cutting edge design that both companies are known for," Tesla said in a statement. "Apple's expertise and assistance with anodizing has been paramount to getting this project off the ground. In late 2014, the first iPhone Gold, Silver, and Space Gray Model S vehicles will roll off the line, thanks to Apple's amazing commitment."

 

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Tesla says that Apple has been hands-on throughout the entire design process, and has helped the team tackle the enormous task of anodizing an entire car with a uniform, blemish-free color coating, just like that on the iPhone 5S models. The surface finish is said to be of the same hardness as an iPhone 5S, leading it to be very resistant to scratches from keys, road debris, and bumps in parking lots. Apple says that it only makes sense to merge qualities from the best iPhone ever made, with the best electric vehicle ever produced, and with both the car and iPhone carrying the model designation of "S," it was destined to be.

Continue reading 'Apple and Tesla Motors team up to release iPhone-colored Model S cars' (full post)

Microsoft scam leader given four-month suspended sentence

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 5:23 am

The man behind a successful Microsoft computer scam was handed a four-month suspended sentence, in what was a rather clever scam. Mohammed Khalid Jamil, based in Luton, England, created a fake company and outsourced calling efforts to an Indian firm, which led to British citizens cold called from people posing as Microsoft reps.

 

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Victims were targeted for around $60 up to $250, and scammers would be given remote access from victims - leading to poor PC security - and a "software fix," a Microsoft-provided software patch available for free, which would solve the problem.

 

Jamil needs to pay $8,300 in fines, along with $9,440 in compensation, then pay almost $24,000 in court restitution penalties.

Continue reading 'Microsoft scam leader given four-month suspended sentence' (full post)

Smartphones, tablets help drive interest in home automation services

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 4:22 am

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets connected to the Internet open the door to home automation services, according to the Home Automation Study from The NPD Group.

 

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The study found that 88 percent of mobile device users are familiar with current home automation devices, a full 10 percent higher than regular consumers. Furthermore, four-out-of five own a smartphone, tablet or some type of mobile device - and because of this, home automation adoption could continue to grow.

 

"Mobile connectivity has enabled products from programmable thermostats to home security systems, to be controlled remotely, thus increasing their appeal and utility," said Ben Arnold, The NPD Group industry executive director, in a statement. "Another key part to this growing industry is the app ecosystem which allows consumers to use one device to monitor and control multiple products."

Continue reading 'Smartphones, tablets help drive interest in home automation services' (full post)

Smartphone kill switches would save customers $2.6 billion every year

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 2:50 am

The addition of smartphone kill-switches could help save up to $2.6 billion per year, with American consumers routinely purchasing dew devices related to theft and other crimes.

 

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California Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), with support from San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, currently have SB 962, which aims to make smartphone kill switches mandatory in California. The debate regarding these types of technologies has generated a great debate, with supporters and critics sounding off on both sides.

 

"I thought a high percentage would say yes, but it was a little surprising and maybe a bigger number than I would have guessed," Duckworth told PC World. "I view losing a credit card as a similar frame of reference. If it is stolen or lost, I can call the credit card company and get it canceled and they can issue a new one. There is safety there. My smartphone has tons of information and accounts in there, so the idea that I could call and say 'kill it' is a very reasonable thing."

Continue reading 'Smartphone kill switches would save customers $2.6 billion every year' (full post)

Tesla packs technology into vehicles, but needs to improve security

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 2:14 am

Tesla vehicles have generated a large amount of interest and controversy across the United States, though is in the headlines for a rather unexpected reason: a potential cybersecurity issue with the Tesla S vehicle.

 

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The iPhone app for Tesla vehicles, which allows owners to control door locks, braking system, sunroof and other car functions, uses only a one-factor authentication system.

 

"The point here (and subsequent attack vectors) is that Tesla needs to implement an authentication mechanism that is beyond 1-factor," said Nitesh Dhanjani, security researcher, in a statement. "Attackers shouldn't be able to use traditional and well known attack vectors like phishing to remotely locate and unlock a $100K+ car built-in 2014."

Continue reading 'Tesla packs technology into vehicles, but needs to improve security' (full post)

NHTSA will require backup cameras in all vehicles by 2018

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 12:44 am

Rear visibility cameras will be required in all vehicles by May 2018, according to the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a ruling that was delayed on numerous occasions.

 

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The agency reported that 73 percent of the vehicles that will be released by 2018 will already have the cameras anyway - but wants to ensure manufacturers will continue to provide the security either way.

 

"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," said David Friedman, NHTSA Acting Administrator, in a press statement. "We're already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today."

Continue reading 'NHTSA will require backup cameras in all vehicles by 2018' (full post)

Rdio, Crackle, and VUDU now featured on Google's Chromecast

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Apr 1, 2014 12:23 am

Google's Chromecast is already a very powerful HDMI streaming dongle, but today the inexpensive device gained support for three heavy hitters in the online media realm. Rdio, Crackle, and VUDU have all released apps for the device, and now allows users to stream music, watch internet videos, and stream movies from their VUDU digital collection straight from the Chromecast.

 

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Rdio, VUDU, and Crackle have all released updated versions of their apps for iOS and Android to enable Chromecast support, making them the latest three content providers to join the Chromecast revolution. While Rdio and Crackle offer their normal services to casting, VUDU allows its users to stream HDX quality copies from the users digital collection as well as control playback, subtitles, and more, however, not all VUDU content is supported, and is based on each particular studio's licensing.

RumorTT: Windows Phone 8.1 could arrive as early as April 23rd

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 31, 2014 11:29 pm

It's no secret that Microsoft is planning the launch of its next-generation mobile OS, but today we are hearing rumors of when the new OS might launch to the public, and what new hardware it may bring with it. A new report from WPCentral is suggesting that the new OS will launch on April 23, and will bring several new Nokia smartphones along for the ride.

 

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The report failed to mention which new Lumia devices we may see launched alongside Windows Phone 8.1, but one would be safe in betting that the Lumia 630 is one of those phones. We are expecting to see more glimpses, and rumors pop up about the new mobile OS as well as the myriad of devices that are expected to run on it during this weeks Build Conference that is hosted by Microsoft. With recent news of BlackBerry Messenger headed to Windows Phone, we are wondering if any news of the pre-installed integration will show up on these new devices as well.

UK launches cyber response team to defend against cyberattacks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Mar 31, 2014 10:44 pm

Launched today, the UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UK) will help the British government coordinate against sophisticated cyberattacks, and respond to any cybersecurity issues that target the country's infrastructure.

 

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The CERT team stemmeed from a National Cyber Security Strategy meeting hosted in 2012, in which other nations discussed their programs - or intention to open a national cybersecurity team - and has grown from there.

 

"The cyber hacker needs to succeed only once, but those protecting us must be successful all the time; around the clock, day after day, week after week," said Francis Maude, Cabinet Officer Minister, when announcing the program. "And of course, nothing in the digital world ever stands still. It's forensic and painstaking work and it's absolutely relentless. I have a very high level of confidence that we can achieve this."

Continue reading 'UK launches cyber response team to defend against cyberattacks' (full post)

Sony announces Michael Jackson's new album, includes unreleased tracks

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Mar 31, 2014 10:24 pm

As part of their multi-year contract with the estate of Michael Jackson, Sony Music have announced overnight a new Michael Jackson album titled Xscape will be released worldwide in May, featuring eight new tracks recorded, but unfinished and unreleased up until now.

 

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Sony Music executives were given unprecedented access to hours and hours of raw, unreleased Jackson gems by the Jackson Estate, which span four decades of the King of Pop's career. After selecting eight songs, the tracks were finished and mastered by contemporary producers, such as Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain. However, a deluxe version of Xscape will also feature the songs in their original, untouched form. Sony Music has yet to detail the disc contents and track list further, but promise new information will be forthcoming.

 

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Xscape will be released by Sony Music worldwide, via CD and iTunes on May 13.

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