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Google acquired SlickLogin to replace passwords with inaudible sounds

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 17, 2014 1:03 pm

Google recently acquired an Israel based startup called 'SlickLogin', which indicates that the company is making plans to replace passwords and even two-factor authentication methods with an inaudible sound unique to your phone and Google login.

 

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SlickLogin has a patented technology where your passwords and two-factor authentication setups can be replaced with a unique and inaudible sound. Once enabled, the website's login page would typically listen to this inaudible sound via your phone and then granting access to your account. This could solve a lot of problems and overcome the possibility of your email account being hacked by someone. All you have to do is hold your smartphone near your PC with the website's login page, and the access will be granted.

Continue reading 'Google acquired SlickLogin to replace passwords with inaudible sounds' (full post)

SEC plans to host cybersecurity roundtable next month

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 17, 2014 12:30 pm

Following recent high-profile security breaches of U.S. retailers, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to host a roundtable discussion next month focused on cybersecurity. As cyber threats become more common place, lawmakers also are concerned a standardized customer notice system isn't in place for retailers to follow.

 

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Retailers and financial institutions argue over which side should be held responsible for fraud activity on customer accounts. There are now trade groups teaming up to try and help work through the issue together, though cyber money crimes contribute to a booming multi-billion-dollar industry.

 

Following the Target and Neiman Marcus breaches specifically, consumers are increasingly frustrated by sometimes lackadaisical security practices. The Obama Administration recently released cybersecurity guidelines for select industries, though didn't make it mandatory to implement any of the ideas.

Tax Dispute in India won't affect Nokia's planned sale to Microsoft

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 17, 2014 6:23 am

It was reported earlier that Nokia was in serious trouble with the Indian government over a tax evasion dispute of a jaw-dropping amount of $542 Million. As a result, the authorities raided the company's factories and offices in India. The matter is still pending in the court, but the situation escalated to a point where the company later threatened to pull its entire manufacturing business from India. In September 2013, Microsoft made a deal with Nokia to acquire the company.

 

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Because of the tax evasion dispute that involves its factories in India, the company's planned sale to Microsoft would become complicated, according to WSJ. The report explained that that this complication involves a factory in Chennai which makes millions of mobiles per year and the deadline to complete this transaction should be completed by the end of Q1 2014. If the factory is not included during the transition, it may continue its operations as a "contract manufacturer" for Microsoft until the disputes are cleared. This step however would make it more complicated for Nokia.

Continue reading 'Tax Dispute in India won't affect Nokia's planned sale to Microsoft' (full post)

Australian police use handheld laser to create 3D map of crime scene

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Feb 17, 2014 5:20 am

The Queensland Police are now able to quickly and accurately map a crime scene using a handheld mapping scanner developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

 

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The device can measure up to 30 meters away with laser technology coupled with a remote-sensing scanner able to measure gravitational forces, velocity and orientation.

 

"The benefits of this new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard to reach areas such as steep declines and bushland," said Ian Stewart, Queensland Police Commissioner, in a statement.

 

The CSIRO Zebedee Scanner is mainly seeing use in the field by crime scene investigators, though could be used in auto collisions and other routine incidents, officials say

Unnamed U.S. law firm caught up in NSA spying, report states

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 17, 2014 1:19 am

American attorneys were caught up with the NSA's global surveillance program, as an unnamed U.S. law firm representing an overseas client currently in a bitter legal battle with the U.S. government. Specifically, the Australian and U.S. governments agreed to share information on a law firm that was retained by the Indonesian government - and information protected under attorney-client privilege was likely included.

 

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Attorney-client privilege isn't protected from NSA eavesdropping, though the American Bar Association demands attorneys to "make reasonable efforts" so confidential information isn't shared with others.

 

There has been growing concern that governments conducting spying and surveillance could breach attorney-client privilege with little recourse.

 

The controversial NSA surveillance program has shown frightening sophisticated practices, with U.S. residents, foreign citizens, government leaders, and others being spied on. Former NSA IT worker Edward Snowden, currently in Russia on temporary asylum, has greatly informed the public of spying behavior in the digital age.

Pennsylvania high school adopts Linux, rolls out laptops to students

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 16, 2014 11:45 pm

Penn Manor High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania will embrace the open source Linux platform, installing it on more than 1,700 laptops. Every student at Penn Manor HS received an Acer TravelMate laptop powered by the Ubuntu 13.10 OS - and the student body was encouraged to explore the OS and push its limits.

 

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"We encourage our students to install software and lift the hood of the system to better understand what makes it tick," said Charlie Reisinger, Penn Manor district technology director, in a statement to Linux.com. "I hope our students run local webservers, toy with Python or simply explore graphics programs such as GIMP. Linux offers so many opportunities to explore computing, programming, and the arts."

 

Desktop Linux market share, at just 1.60 percent, is dwarfed by the Microsoft Windows operating systems - but still plays an important role in our everyday lives. Google Android, for example, got its successful starting using Linux, while set-top boxes, supercomputers, researchers use open source technology, and many cloud-based services rely on Linux in one its software layers.

 

U.S. companies and universities are desperate to try and increase student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

US government wants to inspire cyber defense technologies

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 16, 2014 10:30 pm

The CyberPatriot VI tournament, designed as a youth cyber defense competition, will host 26 teams of U.S. high school students alongside two middle school teams in March. The schools are broken down into certain categories, such as public and private schools, Junior ROTC units, and other go through a series of tests for the groups to compete against one another.

 

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"We don't teach hacking, we don't teach offensive techniques, but we very much teach defending against those things - that's the whole purpose of the competition," said retired Brig. Gen. Bernie Skoch, commissioner of the CyberPatriot effort, when speaking to the Air Force Times.

 

Skoch also added that he believes there will be around 330,000 unfilled cyber security jobs worldwide in 2015, despite a higher payday and job availability.

 

There is increased interest in continued improvement of cyber security efforts, especially for government agencies and critical infrastructure. The Obama Administration recently released security guidelines for utilities, banks, and other select industries, though the recommendations aren't necessarily a set of requirements that must be followed.

Samsung started boosting its production of 25nm DRAM chips

By: Roshan Ashraf Shaikh | More News: RAM | Posted: Feb 16, 2014 9:17 pm

Samsung Electronics has started increasing its 25nm DRAM production with the hopes that it can grab a good share of the DRAM market while they still can. The South Korean based chipmaker is taking advantage of the situation courtesy of an accident that broke out at SK Hynix's DRAM production fab in China on September 2013.

 

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Because of the fire that broke out in its plant, one third of the DRAM's production halted. Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology are the only DRAM chipmakers who are close enough to compensate for the production scarcity, including the production of chips for Apple Technology and GDDR5 for video cards.

Continue reading 'Samsung started boosting its production of 25nm DRAM chips' (full post)

Get your very own 3D printed Transformers character!

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Feb 16, 2014 8:37 pm

3D Systems has teamed up with toy manufacturer Hasbro with plans to print Transformers characters for children and full-grown geeks alike. The co-developed 3D toys should be available sometime later this year, but product pricing and exact models remain unknown.

 

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"We believe 3D printing offers endless potential to bring incredible new play experiences for kids and we're excited to work with 3D Systems, a recognized industry leader in this space," said Brian Goldner, Hasbro President and CEO, in a statement.

 

Hasbro also oversees Star Wars, Monopoly, Scrabble, and other popular games, so the potential for 3D printed toys has barely scratched the surface. As casual consumers become more accustomed to seeing 3D products, the children's market could help drive demand - once prices continue to drop - in the years to come.

United States, South Korea won't use Huawei over spying concerns

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 16, 2014 7:15 pm

The United States and South Korea have mutually agreed to send sensitive information with approved vendors only, while avoiding the use of hardware made by Huawei over spying concerns. There has been increased talk among both countries after increased concern that Huawei-made hardware could lead to easier spying activity from the Chinese company.

 

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"While the United States has expressed concerns in the past, these decisions were made by the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea alone," a U.S. State Department spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

 

No Huawei technology will be used on U.S. military bases in Korea, according to the State Department, as almost 30,000 U.S. military personnel are located in the country. South Korean decision makers also reportedly showed concern using Huawei hardware, and the final decision was made by the host country, though officials remain quiet about the "confidential and private business information."

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