Mac-specific Trojan discovered, injects ads into webpages

Charles Gantt | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Mar 21, 2013 11:33 AM CDT

A new virus specific to Mac has been discovered by Russian security firm Doctor Web. Named Trojan.Yontoo.1, the virus injects ads into webpages on the infected machine.

Mac-specific Trojan discovered, injects ads into webpages  2

The malware works by installing an adware plugin into any of the popular browsers then overlays an advertisement in key locations on webpages. Doctor Web says that this trojan is just another piece of a large adware puzzle that has been infecting OS X for some time now.

Mac-specific Trojan discovered, injects ads into webpages  1

The virus can be caught in several different ways, with the most popular method being the use of movie trailer pages in which users must install a plugin to view the content. Other methods of injection have been media player enhancement programs and download accelerators. One indication of infection is that when launched, Trojan.Yontoo.1 will prompt users to install a program called "Free Twit Tube" or something similar.

No information has been released from Apple on a removal tool yet, and it is expected that Apple will just patch its XProtect.plist which already blocks about 15 previous malware attacks. The best thing is to avoid any installs from unknown websites or anything that has a funny name. Remember, Google is your friend and if you are unsure of an application's validity, a five second search could prevent an infection. Be smart.

Continue reading: Mac-specific Trojan discovered, injects ads into webpages (full post)

Apple wants your iPhone to be more cat like and less like toast, new patent designed to lessen drop damage

Charles Gantt | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Mar 21, 2013 10:29 AM CDT

What do you do when you have more cash reserves than any other company in the world? You develop a system that magically flips your company's flagship phone into the proper position during a fall to lessen damage. Yes, Apple has patented a method that turns your phone into a cat.

Apple wants your iPhone to be more cat like and less like toast, new patent designed to lessen drop damage 1

US Patent #20130073095 describes a "Protective Mechanism for an Electronic Device" that appears to use centrifugal force to reorient an iPhone in the event of a drop or fall. From the patent drawings, it looks like a small motor with a weight on one end would spin up and make the phone flip into an orientation that would lessen damage to sensitive parts like the screen.

The patent also mentions alternative methods that would deploy airfoils to levy aerodynamics to reorient the phone. There is also mention of cables that could be jettisoned to catch the phone mid fall, and other far out there concepts like gas canisters used in conjunction with thrust nozzles to reorient the phone. Below you can see more of the artwork courtesy of Apple Insider.

The patent states:

In one example, the protective mechanism is configured to alter the device orientation as the device is falling. This may allow a less vulnerable portion of the device to impact the surface at the end of a freefall. For example, the protective mechanism may be activated to rotate the device so that it may impact a surface on its edge, rather than on a screen portion.

Continue reading: Apple wants your iPhone to be more cat like and less like toast, new patent designed to lessen drop damage (full post)

Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs

Charles Gantt | Gaming | Mar 21, 2013 8:40 AM CDT

We're willing to bet that more than a few of our readers have participated in a video game beta test before despite the fact that they are sometimes hard to get into. Up until now, you usually had to rely on being selected to participate in those beta programs, but Valve is looking to change that.

Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs | TweakTown.com

Steam has just released a new service called Early Access that makes participating in beta test easier. Instead of filling out form after form, and email after email, Valve's solution is to let game developers simply charge users to be part of the beta. Developers can chose to offer the beta for free through the service or charge users full price for the game, which rolls over to your steam library when officially launched.

As of this posting, the Early Access program has 12 titles including some heavy hitters like: Arma 3 Aplha, Kerbal Space Program and Star Forge Alpha. It is still up in the air if gamers are willing to buy a game at full price months before release just to get access to the beta program, but something tells me that it will be a success.

Continue reading: Steam launches Early Access, a better way of doing Beta programs (full post)

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2013 enters its 6-year anniversary

Anthony Garreffa | Contests & Giveaways | Mar 21, 2013 4:29 AM CDT

If you've wanted to know how it feels to be a world renown overclocker, MSI have officially announced their 2013 MSI Master Overclocking Arena (MOA) is entering its six-year anniversary. MSI are going with a "NO LIMITS" concept, that will "bring out the core spirit of overclocking and help to unveil MOA 2013".

MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2013 enters its 6-year anniversary | TweakTown.com

In order to enter, all you have to do is share the "No Limits MSI MOA" video on Facebook, giving you an entry into the draw. There will be two people chosen as winners, who will receive MSI's latest Gaming Series motherboard. Here's what you need to know:

  • Only members of the MSI FAN CLUB fans have the right to participate.
  • Winners must contact with MSI FAN CLUB before Apr. 15th, 2013 to retrieve the prices, anytime later than the designated date will be disqualified.
  • The organizer reserves the right to review the eligibility of participants. Winners will be disqualified and prizes will be recalled if participant takes part in any act of obstructing the fair game principle with malicious computer programs or any other methods or if nonconformance with the activity rules are detected or reported by a third party.

For more detailed information, please visit MSI FAN CLUB page on Facebook.

Continue reading: MSI Master Overclocking Arena 2013 enters its 6-year anniversary (full post)

Saturn V rocket engines recovered from the bottom of the ocean

From the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, significant pieces of Saturn V's rocket engines have been recovered. What makes this a big announcement is the fact they've been there for over 40 years, and recovered thanks to a privately-funded expedition by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Saturn V rocket engines recovered from the bottom of the ocean | TweakTown.com

Bezos explained the site of the discovery three miles below the surface, more than 400 miles from Florida's east cost as "an underwater wonderland, an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo programme." The Amazon founder announced over a year ago that they had located the engine pieces that took man to the moon in 1969.

After three weeks abord a recovery vessel named 'Seabed Worker', Bezos and his team are on their way back to Cape Canaveral with their pieces of the Saturn V rocket engines. Bezos said in a statement on the expedition website: "We're bringing home enough major components to fashion displays of two flown F-1 engines. Many of the original serial numbers are missing or partially missing, which is going to make mission identification difficult. We might see more during restoration. The objects themselves are gorgeous."

Continue reading: Saturn V rocket engines recovered from the bottom of the ocean (full post)

60 seconds on the Internet sees 640TB of data transferred, over 204 million e-mails sent

Anthony Garreffa | Internet & Websites | Mar 21, 2013 12:34 AM CDT

Sixty seconds on the Internet doesn't sound like much, but think of all the millions of users on simultaneously, all doing different things and the numbers add up very quickly. In only 60 seconds, around 640TB of data is transferred around the world.

60 seconds on the Internet sees 640TB of data transferred, over 204 million e-mails sent | TweakTown.com

The data comes from an infographic by chipmaker Intel, who breaks it down into even more interesting numbers. Google is a big part of these numbers, where more than two million searches are conducted every sixty seconds. YouTube pushes out around 1.3 million videos, while at the same time consumes 30 hours worth of uploaded video for public consumption.

Moving onto social networks, Facebook sees around 6 million views, and Twitter enjoys around 100,000 new tweets per minute. E-mail is still a huge number, with 204 million e-mails sent out every minute. Most of these are most likely spam, but they still count as data being transferred. Intel has also made some projections looking into the future, where they expect the number of networked devices to double by 2015.

Continue reading: 60 seconds on the Internet sees 640TB of data transferred, over 204 million e-mails sent (full post)

Google Keep, Google's new note taking service is now available on the web and Android

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Mar 20, 2013 9:33 PM CDT

Google have officially launched Keep, and if you haven't heard of it before now - like myself - it might actually become a tool you'll use on the daily. Google Keep is a note taking service, available online and through an app for Android.

Keep is aimed at users who need to quickly tap something into their device, where it is saved onto Google Drive. Those of you with Android 4.2.2-based devices get an even better way of taking notes, as there's a lock screen widget available for even quicker and easier access to jotting down notes. There's the trailer above explaining Keep, and if you're interested, check it out on the Play Store for your Android device.

Continue reading: Google Keep, Google's new note taking service is now available on the web and Android (full post)

Logitech unveil their G line of gaming products

Anthony Garreffa | Peripherals | Mar 20, 2013 8:39 PM CDT

Logitech are reiterating the fact that they're committed to PC gaming by unveiling their new Logitech G line of gaming peripherals. This lineup boasts six redesigned mice and keyboard favorites, as well as two brand new headsets. There's a lot to cover, so let's get introduced to Logitech's new products.

Logitech G700s Rechargeable Gaming Mouse - Logitech's G700s mouse is a wireless gaming mouse featuring the report rate of an epically fast wired gaming mouse. Logitech have made the G700s capable of maintaining a consistant report rate, no matter if you're using the mouse over its included 2.4GHz wireless connection, or physically connected through USB. You can switch out from wireless to wired gaming if your battery dies, using a data-over-cable connection thanks to its standard microUSB cable.

There are 13 programmable controls on the G700s, macros and more, which are all controlled and manipulated through Logitech's Gaming Software (LGS). Logitech are slapping a suggested retail price of $99.99 for the G700s mouse.

Continue reading: Logitech unveil their G line of gaming products (full post)

Samsung working on fixing security flaw present on some Android devices

Trace Hagan | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Mar 20, 2013 4:32 PM CDT

Samsung has confirmed that they are working on a fix for a flaw that allows bypassing of the lock screen. The bug was posted to the internet today and shows a method for bypassing the lock screen, permanently, if you have enough time to download an app from the Play Store.

The steps to reproduce the bug are below:

  1. From the lock screen, hit the emergency call button.
  2. Dial a non-existent emergency services number - e.g. 0.
  3. Press the green dial icon.
  4. Dismiss the error message.
  5. Press the phone's back button.
  6. The app's screen will be briefly displayed.
  7. This is just about long enough to interact with the app.
  8. Using this, you can run and interact with any app / widget / settings menu.
  9. You can also use this to launch the dialler.
  10. From there, you can dial any phone number (one digit at a time) and place a phone call.
  11. With Google Play, you can search for apps using the voice interface.
  12. You can download apps from the app store which will disable the screen lock.

The bug is only present on Samsung's implementation of Android. It doesn't seem to affect the stock build. In a statement, Samsung said, "We are aware of this issue and will release a fix at the earliest possibility. Samsung considers user privacy and the security of user data its top priority."

Samsung working on fixing security flaw present on some Android devices | TweakTown.com

Continue reading: Samsung working on fixing security flaw present on some Android devices (full post)

Samsung's Galaxy S4 costs a mere $244 to build in parts and labor

Charles Gantt | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Mar 20, 2013 11:36 AM CDT

In a recent report from IHS, senior analyst for cost benchmarking, Vincent Leungh, broke down Samsung's new Galaxy S4 part by part and came to the conclusion that the S4 cost a mere $244 to manufacture.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 costs a mere $244 to build in parts and labor | TweakTown.com

According to the virtual tear down the Galaxy S4 cost about 15 percent more than its predecessor, the Galaxy S III. Most of that extra cost is in the S4's larger Super AMOLED LCD, which cost a full $10 more than the model used in the S III.

The HSPA+ Galaxy S4 come to $236, with $8.50 of manufacturing costs then added on top. The LTE version cost just a little less to manufacture costing $241 overall. Does this mean that the Galaxy S4 will retail 15 percent higher? That is left to be seen.

Continue reading: Samsung's Galaxy S4 costs a mere $244 to build in parts and labor (full post)

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