Kaspersky of all companies have found something utterly shocking, an advanced cyber espionage network that makes last year's infamous Flame malware look like a joke. Dubbed Operation Red October, each attack is handcrafted for its victim in order to make sure it 100% works.
Red October has been hitting systems across the world since at least May 2007 and carefully chooses its victims spanning over two dozen countries who hold positions in government, military, aerospace, research, trade and commerce, nuclear, oil and other important, vital industries. Investigators aren't sure who is behind the attacks, but it is being reported that Chinese hackers may have created the exploit, while the various malware modules deployed seem to have been created by those who speak Russian.
Kaspersky can't put their finger on the source, as it is currently being run through at least two layers of proxy servers across Russia, Germany and Austria. Whoever is involved has some skill, as they've been silently sitting, unknown to the user, in major government and industry computers.
Instagram, the photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, had a bit of a screw up with its terms of service when it went to update them in December. The changes included clauses that seemingly give Instagram permission to use users' photos, likeness, and username in paid advertising without any sort of compensation, or even permission.
After an outcry by users, Instagram backpedaled the proposed changes, saying that they were unclear and misunderstood by the public. According to data by AppStats, the number of daily users has decreased by roughly 50 percent since the terms of service fiasco. Prior to the change, 16.35 million people were using it daily. On the day of the change, only 5.2 million used the app.
We're now about a month since the change, and AppStats says that on January 12, only 7.81 million people used the app. In other words, roughly half of the daily users are no longer using the app. Of course, these numbers are approximations as it is very hard to get an accurate accounting for apps. But, it does appear that things aren't so good for Instagram. I wonder if Facebook is regretting their decision to purchase the photo-sharing network.
The days of Total Annihilation ruled me, I played tens of hours per week and upgraded my system constantly to play it smoothly at a high resolution like 1600x1200 back in the CRT days. Well, the developer behind it, Gas Powered Games, are looking to release a new game and need your help to fund it. Gas Powered Games require $1.1 million in funding, which will wrap up on February 15.
Gas Powered Games' master and commander, Chris Taylor, is behind things again and below, you'll find the perfect explanation behind the game from their Kickstarter page:
Imagine a game where you control a single hero unit-the "Wildman" - in the middle of a raging battle between opposing forces in a specially designed War Zone. You engage the enemy and see your opponent switching tactics, forcing you to reconfigure your army to counter. You push the enemy back to their base before facing your opponent's champion. Over the course of this battle, you upgrade your armies with new technology, execute special abilities, construct defenses, change your army composition, and shape-shift into new forms that grant you new abilities. This is Wildman.
Google unveiled Chrome 25 beta today, with some notable improvements, such as voice search. Other changes include the disabling of silent extension installs, the inclusion of Web Speech API, and a new tab page that includes a search box.
Google's blog post announcing the new beta:
Using your voice to search on your computer or phone is handy, but there's so much more you can do with voice commands. Imagine if you could dictate documents, have a freestyle rap battle, or control game characters with your browser using only your voice. With today's Chrome Beta release, this future is closer than you think.
Mark down yet another rumor for the Galaxy S IV, though this one has a bit more weight behind it. Anandtech, while in the demo room of Samsung's booth at CES, saw the following, seen in the picture below, which has caused a bit of a stir regarding the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV:
The roadmap pictured above has several clues that point to this screen being the one present in the Samsung Galaxy S IV. For instance, the release timeframe is that which has been rumored by several other sites. The other screens line up nicely with releases of other devices, as well.
The likely screen to be in the next Galaxy S device should be a 4.99-inch, 440PPI full HD screen. Of course, like all rumors, take this with a grain of salt.
ReportTT: Prices for the Xbox 720, PlayStation 4 to be roughly $400 at launch, and use standard hardware
Colin Sebastian, an analyst for Baird Equity Research, has made a prediction that the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 will launch for a price of around $400. Along with a prediction of price, the company is also providing a prediction that the new consoles will use high-end computer hardware that is readily available from the likes of Intel and others.
This isn't the first time we've heard the second prediction. In fact, it's been a common occurrence for rumors to say that this is the case. There are several benefits to using standard PC hardware, the main of which is that programmers don't have to learn a new technology or architecture. It would also allow game developers to program only once for one architecture.
If standard components are used, it also leaves the door open to the possibility of upgrading the components at a later time. Sony and Microsoft should also be able to keep updating the console with refreshes that use Intel's, AMD's or NVIDIA's latest and greatest parts.
Apple's stock dipped below $500 a share this morning after media outlets reported that Apple ($APPL) was decreasing iPhone 5 component purchases due to lowering demand. That is over a $20 drop from Friday's closing price.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that demand for the iPhone 5 has been lower than expected and cited "people familiar with the situation" as saying that Apple has cut its order for iPhone 5 screens in half for the March quarter. The Japanese daily publication Nikkei said that Apple has halved its initial order of 65,000 LCD screens from suppliers.
As if on cue, this news rattled investors, sending the stock into a downtrend. The stock started recovering shortly after falling below $500 and at the time of this writing, was hovering around $505 a share.
Two recent Research in Motion events has resulted in more than 15,000 apps being ported to the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system according to RIM's vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders. The so called Port-A-Thons have been a huge success in helping jump starting RIM's app offerings.
Both the Android Port-A-Thon and Community Port-A-Thon were designed to entice developers to port their popular apps over to RIM's upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS for cash and prize incentives. In what has to be some sort of record, the events topped out at their goal within a mere 38 hours.
The events ran from January 11th to January 13th, and offered developers $100 for every app ported, with a maximum of 20 apps set per vendor. Vendors who submitted five or more apps were entered into a drawing for 1 of 100 BB10 Dev Alpha devices. Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins has promised that BlackBerry 10 will launch with at least 70,000 apps, which actually does not seem like such a far off goal now.
Three students from the University of Toronto have designed a revolutionary new type of LED based light bulb that is orders of magnitude more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
The Nanolight is an LED based light bulb replacement that consumes just 12 watts of energy and produces 1600 lumens of light output. This is on par with a 100w incandescent bulb at almost 1/10th the power consumption. The new design claims to have solved the LED heat problem and has no need for an expensive aluminum heatsink.
The Nanolight has a lifespan of 30,000 hours and is estimated to cost a mere $50 in electricity over the full lifespan of the bulb. The company plans on producing a 10w Nanolight which would be equivalent to a 75w incandescent and cost even less to power.
BiblioTech library in San Antonio, Texas, is the first of its kind in the US. They are ditching the traditional public library model of vast amounts of paper bound books and switching to a much more modern and efficient e-books and digital media.
The library will feature around 10,000 digital titles, and is designed to "supplement" the area's traditional libraries. Those who like to visit the library and bring home a book need not to fear as BiblioTech will carry e-readers for you to check out. Checked out e-books will be programmed to be available for only two weeks, upon which the e-reader will be returned.
We all knew it was coming and rightfully so. Hardbound books are expensive, costly to maintain, and take up vast amounts of space. With dwindling budgets, falling public interest and rising book cost, the traditional library model is just not cutting it anymore. What do you think about the inevitable move from paper book libraries to digital only libraries? Is it a good thing, or something to be feared? Let us know in the comments below.