IM app 'Slack' lets employers tap their staff conversations

Chris Smith | Business, Financial & Legal | Nov 24, 2014 10:09 PM CST

Sometimes as a boss, you've got to be sitting there in your executive chair wondering what your staff are doing at that exact moment. Are they planning world domination, are they doing hard work or are they on Reddit?

Well, if they're discussing that "ludicrous display last night" (See: IT Crowd) over instant messaging app 'Slack' - they could now be in some hot water. Slack's upcoming paid Plus plan includes a handy new feature named "Compliance Exports".

Announced to the public on Monday, Compliance Exports will make you feel like more of a vicious dictator than ever before, allowing management to peak into their employee's private communications - public and private. They've also included the ability to edit your workers messages or mark them for deletion - helping manage any conversation as you see fit.

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Driveclub problems on PS4: 'you can't effectively test' these issues

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Nov 24, 2014 9:28 PM CST

When the PS4 exclusive 'Driveclub' launched, it was met with a slew of issues, and post-launch updates and fixes. But for those who want to know why there wasn't any additional in-house testing before it launched, the Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) President and CEO, Shawn Layden, has some nice words to say.

Layden explained the issues, saying that games like Driveclub, and their online communities, cannot be tested thoroughly before launching the game itself. He continued: "In the development cycle, we try to do all things. In the development cycle, we try to test against every possibility. We have a [Quality Assurance] team, we have a QA plan. You do a beta test, you scope against that. But now, in a connected world, you can't effectively test in your house or in your beta group what it means to have 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 users hit your service. And the guys [at the studio] are struggling with that. It's throwing up things they had not anticipated".

Evolution Studios, the developer behind the open-world driving game has continued its path toward a fully-baked game, even offering free DLC and extending Season Passes.

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Tsu, new social network has gained 1 million users in five weeks

Chris Smith | Internet & Websites | Nov 24, 2014 8:53 PM CST

What's one of people's favorite things to do these days? Complain about Facebook. For those who wish to do more than simply 'like for world peace', Tsu has offered up their own social networking alternative for those gutsy enough to make the plunge.

The first question you've got to ask is, what does Tsu do differently to the other copious amounts of Facebook alternatives out there? A quick look at their information page points something out straight away - "Social media should be paying you".

According to Tsu, you can sign up today - all you need is an invite from another member, or you can use the generic invite that they will provide to you anyway. They believe that they will be leading the 'social revolution', providing 90% of their total revenue from advertising and sales towards their customer base.

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New StoreDot technology claims smartphone battery recharge in 30 sec

A new battery recharging solution from Israel promises to recharge smartphones in just 30 seconds, with nanotechnology synthesizing artificial molecules. The new battery stores a higher charge, and while it is still far too large to use while on the go, StoreDot hopes a slim model will be available by 2016.

As the number of smartphone owners is expected to reach almost 1.75 billion by the end of the year, finding new mobile charging solutions will be critical.

"These are new materials, they have never been developed before," said Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot founder and CEO.

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Xbox boss Phil Spencer complements Sony PlayStation 4's great year

Michael Hatamoto | Gaming | Nov 24, 2014 8:19 PM CST

It has been a fantastic year for console gaming, with the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 both racking up great sales since launching in late 2013. The PS4 has outsold the Xbox One all year, but it appears Microsoft is beginning to close ground, due to a recent price cut.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer applauded both Microsoft and rival company Sony: "This 1st year has been incredible. Great launch for 2 consoles, exciting competition & great games. Thanks for all the support and feedback," Spencer said on Twitter. He also offered the PS4 additional praise: "Those Sony peeps had a great first year."

There have been 13.5 million PS4 units sold, while Microsoft has racked up 10 million Xbox One units sold since launch.

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Kobo Aura H20 eReader announced - Waterproof in design

Chris Smith | Displays & Projectors | Nov 24, 2014 8:08 PM CST

Said to be the first eReader on this planet to be resistant to water and dust, it seems that Kobo's new Aura H20 is perfectly suited to a day in the Sahara Desert or at your local beach.

Set for release in February 2015, Kobo's new product offering is IP67 certified - meaning that it's resistant to water and dust. We haven't come across a release price for this product as of yet, but you should expect it to be announced by the new year ahead of it's launch into the market.

eReaders have taken a back seat in recent times, since the Kindle first hit it big on the market. Low on power, perfectly readable in direct sunlight, cheap, company and light in design - they're a must for any user looking to take multiple books on the go, whether you're traveling, working or studying.

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Patriot increases capacity of LX series SDXC and microSDXC cards

Chris Smith | Storage | Nov 24, 2014 7:02 PM CST

As according to their press release sent out a mere 9 hours ago, Patriot have just announced they are increasing the storage sizing in their LX series of SDXC and microSDXC flash memory storage.

These come in the form of a 256GB UHS-I class 10 SDXC Flash Card and a 128GB UHS-I Class 10 microSDXC Flash Card. These new products are said to be available very soon for a MSRP of $129.99 and available for purchase from major American retailers such as Fry Electronics, Newegg and Amazon.

Said to be compliant with the latest SD Association 3.0, their new SDXC Flash Card is marketed as being able to store HD 1920 x 1080 video in real-time - providing you with a 80 MB/s peak read speed and a write speed of up to 20 MB/s. Other than this new 256GB model, Patriot also offer this card in 64GB and 128GB editions - backing them with a 5 year warranty.

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Sony Pictures targeted in attack, as cybercriminals try to get to Sony

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Nov 24, 2014 5:49 PM CST

Sony Pictures Entertainment was forced to warn employees not to access corporate networks or check their email, because the company is under cyberattack and being blackmailed to prevent "secrets" from being released. It's unknown what information, if any, the hackers were able to steal from the Sony network.

An image that says SPE was "Hacked by #GOP" was published on the company's computers - and issued the following message: "Warning: We've already warned you, and this is just the beginning... We have obtained all your internal data including secrets and top secrets."

"Sony deserves praise for going offline while they figure out what is happening rather than allow further damage," said Hemanshu Nigam, Internet cybersecurity expert. "Hackers are always-on the hunt for holes in a network, which can happen when a system isn't updated properly or a feature change is made. It is critical for companies to conduct self-hacking exercises on a continuous basis to find and patch these vulnerabilities before the hackers find them."

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NSA, GCHQ seemingly linked to the frightening Regin stealth malware

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Nov 24, 2014 2:19 PM CST

The sophisticated Regin stealth malware, which has been in operation since at least 2008, was likely created by the US and UK governments to spy on other governments and businesses. Specifically, the NSA and GCHQ most likely spearheaded the project, with the malware's first target against the European Union (EU).

"Having analyzed this malware and look at the [previously published] Snowden documents," said Ronald Prins, security expert. "I'm convinced Regin is used by British and American intelligence services."

Russia was the most heavily infected nation, racking up 28 percent of Regin's wrath, while 24 percent was in Saudi Arabia, Ireland (9 percent), Belgium (5 percent), and Austria (5 percent) rounded out the list of most infected nations.

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Ferguson Grand Jury reaches decision

Paul Alcorn | Business, Politics & Money | Nov 24, 2014 2:06 PM CST

The grand jury empaneled to decide whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown has reached a decision, which will be released later today. Local, state, and federal law enforcement have been bracing for a spate of renewed protests and violent actions in the wake of the pending announcement. Ferguson law enforcement has been asked by community groups to warn them 48 hours prior to the release of the decision so they could brace for public reaction. Many have also decried that as merely a plan for protesters to get organized and prepared for mass violent protests.

Ferguson officials are apparently not providing the aforementioned warning, and plan to announce the verdict this afternoon. Businesses have been boarding up storefronts over the weekend in anticipation of the ruling, which is due any hour now. Even if there is a decision to indict Darren Wilson it may not be enough to assuage protesters.

Officer Wilson can be charged with a variety of crimes, and many are calling for a first degree murder charge. They can also charge him with second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. There is also the option of an armed criminal action charge. Any of the lesser charges will likely trigger strong public reaction as well. Federal prosecutors have all but announced they are unable to bring charges against the officer, so any decision today will likely result in the only charges, if any are filed at all.

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