How to Avoid Getting Hacked Next Time You Leave Home; 11 Cool Smartphone Camera Tricks You Should Know; Google Fights Phishing Attacks With New Chrome Extension; UK court: ISPs must block Popcorn Time download sites; One thing every iPhone owner should do to stretch battery life; Five tools to help you set up a kiosk; How to embed playable MS-DOS games in your tweets; Man implants NFC chip in his hand to hack Android phones; PC prices to go up later this year, Gartner warns; Secret, an app for anonymous posts, shuts down; Valve ditches Steam paid mod plan after backlash; Malvertising Strikes on Adult Site xHamster Again; Report: Seinfeld Coming to Hulu; Download: Windows 10 build 10074; Tech Companies Line Up Behind Surveillance Reform Bill; Twitter Collapses 18% In Wake Of Lackluster Q1 Revenue, User Growth; More classic Star Wars PC games land on GOG.
How to Avoid Getting Hacked Next Time You Leave Home – How times have changed. It used to be that when you packed for a trip, you wanted to be sure not to forget vitals like your toothpaste, swimsuit, or even travelers’ checks. But if forgotten, those things can be replaced on the road. Instead, these days, we obsess about packing our smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. However, bringing tech on a trip can expose your entire life to hackers and cyber-crooks. So before you book your next vacation, consider these six tips on how to stay cyber-safe while traveling:
Trolls Are Posing as Baltimore Looters Online – Rage and frustration over the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who succumbed to severe spinal cord injuries while in police custody, continues to explode in Baltimore in the form of riots and looting. Twitter trolls are fueling the fire by posing as looters and posting images of ostensibly stolen goods with the hashtag #BaltimoreLootCrew.
UK court: ISPs must block Popcorn Time download sites – The UK has cracked down against Popcorn Time, that neatly organized bit of movie piracy. It is illegal to stream the content offered by it, but that hasn’t stopped many and has spurred concerns for as long as it has been around. Following in line with this is a new ruling from the United Kingdom’s High Court that requires the nation’s top five broadband providers block some sites offering the Popcorn Time download. Whether that will make any difference is doubtful.
11 Cool Smartphone Camera Tricks You Should Know – Right now, people all around you are walking around with super powerful digital cameras in their pockets, and they each have the power to beam their POV to the rest of the world instantaneously—all super hivemind style, language barriers be damned. And gadget makers have responded with better and ever more capable digital cameras. Chances are, you’re not even taking advantage of all the cool things your phone’s camera can do. Check out our slideshow for 11 truly amazing (as well as a few ridiculous) smartphone camera tricks.
One thing every iPhone owner should do to stretch battery life – Summary:While better than it used to be, owners of iPhones — especially frequent business travelers — have to keep an eye on battery life. One simple setting can help the phone last longer.
Project Spartan is now ‘Edge’, and will have Chrome extensions – Spartan was a cool working title for Microsoft’s browser. I really enjoyed it, but they’re not keeping it. Instead, they’ve come up with a new, ‘edgy’ title (pun intended). Instead of Spartan, they’re going with ‘Edge’. That’s right, Edge. Like from U2. The browser brings all the cool stuff we already knew about, like reader mode and notations, but is also sniping a bit of energy from another great browser. According to Microsoft, a bit more work on Edge will bring Chrome extensions.
Dropbox ‘commenting’ feature now available to all users – If you use Dropbox to collaborate a workflow, you’ve probably been left scratching your head now and then. What is your colleague event talking about? Is this the right document for the project they were discussing in the meeting? Typically, that left you firing off emails or tracking them down via chat or stalking their cubicle. Now, you won’t have to be that person. Dropbox is opening up commenting within documents for all, which lets you discuss what’s going on with a particular document or project, all without ever leaving Dropbox.
Microsoft HoloLens dazzles at Build conference, but availability still a mystery – Microsoft offered another tantalizing look at its HoloLens headset, as it aims to turn your living room and workplace into a living, breathing desktop. The world’s largest software company saved the best for last during the keynote presentation at its Build 2015 developer conference, closing a three-hour parade of demonstrations and speeches with a closer look at its foray into the holographic world. The HoloLens doesn’t produce true holograms in the “Star Trek” sense. Rather, it beams light onto your eyes to blend 3D virtual images with the real world, a technology known more widely as augmented reality.
How to embed playable MS-DOS games in your tweets – Social media platform Twitter has a neat little trick that lets you to embed playable versions of classic MS-DOS video games in your tweets, allowing you to play classic platforms directly from your feed. The feature piggybacks off the massive collection of MS-DOS games put online by the Internet Archive — joining its Console Living Room and Internet Arcade collections of console and arcade games.
Five tools to help you set up a kiosk – Kiosks make it easy to display information about your company, allow users to interact with website-driven company directories, get details about products, advertise your products and services, and much more. But how do you set up a kiosk? Surely they are complex creatures that require much care and attention! Not even remotely. Kiosks can be created using a standard machine or even a tablet. With simple and cost-effective solutions, you can have one up and running quickly. If you don’t want to invest too much time and money into the project, the five kiosk apps listed here are well suited for the task. In some instances, these apps will require you to have the HTML pages already set up and ready to go. Let’s dig into them and see if one will serve your needs.
Microsoft Announces Continuum, Turning Windows 10 Phones Into Desktops – Microsoft just demonstrated one of the intriguing possibilities from its single platform/multiple form factors approach for Windows 10: the ability to use your phone as your desktop computer. In contrast to Apple’s “Continuity,” which aims to make moving between phone, tablet and desktop seamless, Microsoft’s Continuum instead has the phone you’re using adapt its interface depending on the context you’re using it.
It Will Be Ridiculously Easy to Bring Apple and Android Apps to Windows – App developers whistled and applauded at Microsoft’s bombshell announcement Wednesday that they’ll be able to take code for Android and Apple apps and import it directly into the Windows ecosystem. The announcement marks an enormous strategic shift for Microsoft, but a logical one.
Download: Windows 10 build 10074 – Microsoft has released another Windows 10 build for the Windows Insider program and this release brings with it several new features that were shown off at Build 2015; the build number on this release is 10074. To upgrade to the new build, follow the steps below in your current install of Windows 10 to grab the bits or you can get the ISO from the links below.
Airbnb gives Android tablet and iPad users a slick, new interface – Airbnb decided that instead of simply scaling-up its mobile apps, it would completely design a new tablet interface from the ground up. The new apps boast a “cinematic” interface. The entire feel of the app is more like browsing through a thick, glossy travel magazine than searching through wordy hotel reviews. The new Airbnb apps for Android and iOS tablets give users more of what they want, pictures. Any armchair traveller knows the best part about looking at new travel destinations is the photographs. Sure, descriptions can excite the imagination, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
Microsoft Expects 1 Billion Windows 10 Devices In 2-3 Years – The goal is reasonable, given the company’s decision to offer Windows 10 to current Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users for free for a year. That, combined with the normal PC sales cycle and the upgrade of Windows Phone users, is how Microsoft gets to the 1 billion-device figure. Keep in mind two things: Microsoft has granted itself quite a lot of wiggle room — a multi-year timeframe that has a full year of slack is a pretty wide band. But that’s hardly surprising, given that Microsoft has something at risk in this case. If the company cannot attract a mass of users quickly, developers might pass on building for the platform.
PC prices to go up later this year, Gartner warns – PC prices have enjoyed record lows for many years now, but buyers might have to shell out a few more bucks for their desired laptop or desktop later this year. Research firm Gartner is sounding the alarm that PC prices might go up later this year due to recent currency fluctuations. The effect may especially be felt in Europe and Japan, where local currencies are weakening against the U.S. dollar.
Google Fights Phishing Attacks With New Chrome Extension – Many phishing emails can look legit, and people are still clicking and unknowingly handing their personal details to hackers. Human error is a tough thing to combat, but Google has a new solution for Chrome users that might help you prevent significant data loss. The search giant today released a new Chrome extension, dubbed Password Alert, that can detect if you’re using your Google password on any non-Google site.
Microsoft cracks down on misleading (and frequently malicious) advertisements – Microsoft is taking a hard stance against advertisements that trick users into visiting malicious websites or downloading potentially harmful applications. The effects will be seen in Internet Explorer, whose SmartScreen Filter feature will enforce new rules against misleading ads beginning June 1. The filter will display warnings to users when they encounter such ads (pictured below).
Man implants NFC chip in his hand to hack Android phones – When you hold an Android phone, you just hold it. When Seth Wahle holds the same phone, an NFC chip in his hand can load a malicious web page that exploits the phone. So, should you stop letting people touch your phone from here on out? Well, you don’t have to freak out just yet.
Ads on Colouring Pages Website Lead to Installs, Explicit Content – If you regularly download pages for family members to colour in, you may want to be aware of the adverts served up from certain websites. Not all of them are potentially family friendly.
Malvertising Strikes on Adult Site xHamster Again – Simply going on xHamster’s website could infect a PC if the browser or one of its plugins was not up to date. We notified TrafficHaus which responded immediately to shutdown the malicious ad, helping to limit the number of victims. The redirection chain used by the criminals was quite effective in that it only strikes one time per IP address and cleverly hides itself within an innocuous piece of code.
Apple says EC probe could lead to back tax payments – Apple has warned that an European probe into its tax payments in Ireland could lead to the company having to pay disputed past taxes covering up to 10 years. The company said the impact could be “material,” but did not provide an estimate. The European Commission began a probe last year into a tax deal between Ireland and Apple to ascertain whether the taxes the company paid complied with European Union rules on state aid.
Periscope Saw Over 1 Million Sign-Ins During Its First 10 Days – Twitter today gave the first official news about the growth of its live-streaming video acquisition Periscope, with CEO Dick Costolo saying more than 1 million people signed in to the app in the first 10 days after its official launch on March 26. The public is closely watching Periscope’s growth, as it’s in a heated battle with independent competitor Meerkat for the mobile live-streaming market. Costolo said “we have seen tremendous early growth” in Periscope.
Secret, an app for anonymous posts, shuts down – The company, also named Secret, formally launched its app last year and is said to have raised between $33 million and $35 million in funding. “After a lot of thought and consultation with our board, I’ve decided to shut down Secret,” CEO David Byttow said Wednesday in a blog post. Byttow said the app does not represent the vision he had when starting the company. Secret had attracted more than 15 million users, he said in the post. Byttow will spend the next couple of weeks winding down Secret, he said. Funding will be returned to investors.
Facebook says EU’s privacy investigations hurt innovation, economy – The social network’s head of public policy in Europe says changes to how regulations are handled there could prompt Facebook to stop bringing new features to its service.
Twitter Collapses 18% In Wake Of Lackluster Q1 Revenue, User Growth – The company reported revenue of $436 million, an increase of 74 percent on a year-over-year basis. That number missed the company’s own guidance, as well as street estimates that the company would report $456.8 million. Twitter earned $0.07 using adjusted metrics, and lost $0.25 using normal accounting methods (GAAP). The street had expected an adjusted profit of $0.04. The company’s GAAP net profit fell during the period, compared to the year-ago quarter, expanding from negative $132.3 million, to negative $162.4 million. The company’s GAAP EPS also fell by several cents, to negative $0.25.
Salesforce said to be fielding buyout offers – Salesforce is working with financial advisors to field bids after being approached by an unnamed party about a possible buyout, according to a Bloomberg report. The cloud-based CRM (customer relationship managment) company has a market value of more than $40 billion. It could be the largest software acquisition ever, according to Bloomberg.
Uber’s launching its food delivery service in NYC and Chicago – Food is an important part our lives, often extending beyond mere sustenance to serve as a notable touristy or social experience, among other things. Not all special meals have to take place inside of a restaurant, however, and Uber wants to make sure you’ve got access to them regardless of where you’re at. Cue UberEATS, a food delivery service the transportation company has been testing in Barcelona and Los Angeles, and that it has now officially launched in both of those cities, as well as Chicago and New York City.
Games and Entertainment:
Valve ditches Steam paid mod plan after backlash – A few days ago, we talked about the plans that Valve had put into place that would allow paid mods to be sold for Skyrim via the Steam Workshop. Those plans for paid mods didn’t sit well with fans of Skyrim and Steam. The backlash against the plans was swift and brutal.
Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass costs $40 – It used to be the case that you’d purchase a game and all the content would be available on the disc. Then we got expansions pack, and with the advent of the always-connected gamer and fast download speeds, DLC packs appeared, which inevitably led on to what is commonly called a Season Pass for games. Now Warner Bros. is attempting to charge $40 for a Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass on top of the $60 you’ll pay to play the game. 100 to unlock all the content for Batman: Arkham Knight will be too much to stomach for many gamers.
Report: Seinfeld Coming to Hulu – According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Hulu has acquired streaming rights to Seinfeld. Hulu did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the Journal’s sources said the streaming company may announce the deal to advertisers on Thursday at a presentation in New York. If true, this would be one of the biggest programming acquisitions in the site’s history, the report notes. How big? Approximately $700,000 per episode. Hulu apparently beat out several other streaming rivals vying for rights to the 1990s classic, including Amazon and Yahoo.
This Video Game Trailer Will Raise Your Pulse and Make You Sweat – Just Cause 3, the next installment in the go-anywhere, destroy-anything open world series, is scheduled for a 2015 release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Developer Avalanche Studios just unveiled a new trailer for the title (above) that gives a pulse-quickening sneak peak at the new title’s gameplay. It looks, well, explosive.
PSA: More classic Star Wars PC games land on GOG, debut on Steam – Last year, the restructured teams at Lucasarts, under new Disney ownership, got into PC gamers’ good graces by announcing a plan to digitally re-release a smattering of out-of-print Star Wars video games on PC. That October news included a partnership with Good Old Games (GOG.com), and on Tuesday, Lucasarts announced another digital storefront partnership, this time with Steam.
Off Topic (Sort of):
Ham radio attempts to fill communication gaps in Nepal rescue effort – Amateur radio has stepped in to fill communication gaps in Nepal, which is struggling with power outages and a flaky Internet after a devastating earthquake on Saturday killed over 5,000 people. The hobbyist radio operators, also known as ham radio operators or hams, are working round-the-clock to help people get in touch with relatives, pass on information and alert about developing crises ever since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit about 80 kilometers from Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu.
Drumi cleans clothes with no power and little water – In most homes, a significant amount of water and electricity is allotted to operating washing machines and drying clothes. That’s all fine and good in areas where there is plenty of water and reliable electricity. For people who want to go green and reduce electricity use while saving water, cleaning clothes can be done with an interesting new device called the Drumi. The green Drumi is 22-inches tall and needs no electricity to clean your clothing. It also needs only 10 liters of water and a bit of detergent to clean five pounds of clothing, which is about six items. Users toss the clothes into the drum along with five liters of water.
I Spent a Day Learning How to Hack Alongside Wall Street’s Financial Consultants – I’m hacking the Komodo Bank of Asia. I’m actively taking money from its clients and transferring it into my account. My victim’s password sucked, his security question was laughable and easily Googleable. My balance soars; I watch his approach zero. The whole thing was too easy. I’m not in my parents’ basement, I’m not in a Chinese cyberarmy barracks or compound, I’m not even using Tor. I’m sitting in the modern offices of Capco, a financial consultancy a couple blocks off Wall Street. If I had to guess, with the information stored on these computers, some of Capco’s employees could definitely help me pull off some sort of large-scale digital heist. But they aren’t helping me—instead, they’re my adversaries in what is, as far as I can tell, the first corporate-backed class on how to hack.
DroneBase Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot – You don’t want to own a drone. Or learn to fly a drone. Or hire someone full-time to fly a drone. And you definitely don’t want to pay for a helicopter, plane or satellite. You just want some aerial photos or videos of your work site, real estate or infrastructure. Now, thanks to DroneBase, you can get the benefits of unmanned aerial vehicles without the hassle. DroneBase lets you commission a drone and its pilot for commercial jobs. You just submit your request online, DroneBase finds someone who can do the gig, they come fly and send you the media and data needed. The DroneBase marketplace is now open for business in Los Angeles with plans to expand.
The Ars Technica guide to digital policy in the UK’s 2015 general election – As the passage of the UK’s technologically illiterate Digital Economy Act in 2010 demonstrated, many UK politicians are completely at sea when it comes to modern technology. But even they recognise that the digital world forms a crucial part of modern life, and that any political party hoping to enter government needs to have policies for issues the Internet raises. That said, the different political parties have very different views and priorities when it comes to legislating for the digital world. Ahead of the UK’s General Election on May 7, Ars has put together a guide to what the manifestos say on a number of key topics: surveillance; privacy and data protection; copyright and patents; web blocking; freedom of speech; digital rights; and various forms of openness—open data, open standards and open government.
Swedish airport gets the first remote air traffic tower – The problem for small airports is that they don’t have much flight traffic because there often is no tower to control incoming flights. These small airports have no tower because they don’t have the traffic to warrant a tower leaving them in a chicken/egg situation. A small airport in Sweden has been installed with the world’s first remote tower system.
How to crack many Master Lock combinations in eight tries or less – There’s a vulnerability in Master Lock branded padlocks that allows anyone to learn the combination in eight or fewer tries, a process that requires less than two minutes and a minimal amount of skill to carry out.
iPad app fail forces American Airlines to ground dozens of planes – Swapping massive kit bags for iPads seemed like a win for American Airlines flight crews when it happened two years ago. But while the bags were big, heavy space hogs, at least the binders never crashed and caused American to ground flights. The airline had to delay several dozen of its flights last night due to “an issue with a software app on pilot iPads.” To correct the issue, an updated version of the offending app had to be installed on the affected tablets. Planes had to head back to their gates to establish a Wi-Fi connection in order to pull down the update.
Something to think about:
“When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.”
– Thomas S. Monson
Today’s Free Downloads:
AirDroid – AirDroid allows you to access and manage your Android phone or tablet from Windows, Mac or the web, wirelessly, for free.
SMS: send and receive individual or group messages.
Files: transfer files between Android and computer from any network.
Notification Mirror: Mirror phone notifications from any allowed apps to computer.
AirMirror: Complete control of Android, and use any apps, like WhatsApp, WeChat and Line. (requires root, AirDroid Windows & Mac only)
Contacts: View and edit all the contacts.
Photos: Transfer photos between Android and computer.
Music & Videos: Play and manage music & videos on Android and transfer them between Android and computer.
Ringtones: Set music as ringtone and export ringtones.
Screenshot: View the real time screen of Android devices, take static screenshots. (requires root)
Apps: Import and export .apk files.
Camera: See through the lens of both front and back cameras.
URL: Push url to Android and open it with default web browser.
Clipboard: Share clipboard content between Android and computer.
Farbar Recovery Scan Tool – Farbar Recovery Scan Tool, or FRST, is a portable application designed to run in normal or safe mode to diagnose malware issues. It is also possible to run FRST in the Windows Recovery Environment in order to diagnose and fix boot issues.
This program will display detailed information about the Windows Registry loading points, services, driver services, Netsvcs entries, known DLLs, drives, and partition specifications. It will also list some important system files that could be patched by malware.
Note: There are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Farbar Recovery Scan Tool available. Please pick the version that matches your operating system’s bit type. If you don’t know which version matches your system, you may try both of them. Only one of them will run on your system.
Limitations: If you are using Windows XP and have boot issue, the system should boot to the Recovery Environment using a PE Boot CD and then you can run FRST
FunMouse – FunMouse: The Swiss-army-knife of mouse utilities.
With FunMouse, you name it, we can do it . . . From scrolling the window under the mouse cursor to assigning extra actions for up to 7 mouse buttons. Add to that 36 hotspot shortcuts plus 16 mouse gestures for common every-day tasks or your own custom tasks.
And if you think that is a lot, wait till you see our exclusive Paste2 function.
Paste2 will forever change the way you search for anything on your local pc and online. The only thing holding you back is your own imagination. Whether it be to paste a new screenshot to paint in one click to sending text to a new gmail message, get instant translation to any language or check spelling from any application. . . and with new add-ons regularly being released on our website, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without FunMouse & Paste2
As if that is not enough, FunMouse will also capture an astounding amount of statistics. From showing the distance you travel with your mouse to the amount of mouse clicks you perform every day, to name but two. How about controlling the system volume with your mousewheel with an onscreen volume display?
In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:
Tech Companies Line Up Behind Surveillance Reform Bill – A wide range of companies today released their support for a surveillance reform bill that would effectively end the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Reform Government Surveillance, a lobbying group representing many tech companies including AOL (they write my paychecks), came out backing the 2015 version of the FREEDOM Act.
“We support the bicameral, bipartisan legislation, which ends existing bulk collection practices under the USA Patriot Act and increases transparency and accountability while also protecting U.S. national security,” Reform Government Surveillance said in a statement.
“We thank Representatives Goodlatte, Sensenbrenner, Conyers and Nadler and Senators Lee, Leahy, Heller, and Franken, as well as other Members, who have worked hard over the past several months to draft a common sense bill that addresses the concerns of industry, the Intelligence Community, and civil society in a constructive and balanced manner. We look forward to working with Congress to pass this legislation by June 1st.”
RSA president questions government’s role in cybersecurity – The president of one of the world’s biggest computer security vendors says he is skeptical that a stronger government role in cyberdefense will abate the growing number of attacks.
In an interview with IDG News Service, Amit Yoran, president of RSA, also rejected calls by U.S. intelligence chiefs for industry to tread carefully in deploying more encryption in case it cuts off their ability to eavesdrop on communications by suspected criminals.
“The government is not the answer here,” he said, when asked about White House proposals for sharing of cybersecurity information. Despite the growing severity of attacks and a feeling that the government should “do something,” the issue is best left to private companies, because they are the ones developing networks and the technology that defends them, he said.
“Nobody is going to say information sharing is bad, but I’ve yet to see what is being asked to share by whom, for what purpose, to which parties, how will it be protected, how will it be used and then what is the value proposition back for sharing information,” Yoran said.
Instead, he said the government might better help by sharing some of its own threat intelligence with the private sector.
The Latest Argument Against Apple’s New Encryption: It’s for Perverts – After more than six months of complaints, we know US government officials, including the FBI director, President Barack Obama, as well as the head of the NSA, are not happy about Apple’s decision to turn encryption on by default on its new iPhone operating system, which makes it technically impossible for Apple to access the data the request of the police.
We also know that, in practice, they’re asking for impossible solutions, using fear mongering and hyperbolic statements such as “encryption threatens to lead us all to a very dark place,” or simply misleading or wrong examples to support their arguments.
But a Massachusetts prosecutor, who is scheduled to testify at a House hearing on encryption on Wednesday, is taking the arguments a step further into bizarre territory.
If encryption becomes widespread, according to Daniel Conley, the Suffolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts, perverts that take surreptitious pictures of women’s intimate parts on public transportation—also known as “upskirting”—will never be prosecuted.
Bill to rein in NSA phone data collection reintroduced – A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has reintroduced legislation aimed at ending the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone records across the country.
Four senior members of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee planned to reintroduce the USA Freedom Act late Tuesday. The House passed a watered-down version of similar legislation in last May, but the Senate failed to act on it before November’s elections.
The new bill would end all bulk collection of telephone and other business records under the Patriot Act, the antiterrorism legislation passed in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing to amend and vote on the new bill this Thursday.
Lawmakers criticize FBI’s request to mandate encryption back doors – U.S. lawmakers are skeptical of an FBI request for Congress to mandate encryption workarounds in smartphones, with critics saying Wednesday that back doors would create new vulnerabilities that bad guys can exploit.
It’s currently impossible for smartphone makers to build in back doors that allow law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications but also keep out cybercriminals, witnesses and lawmakers said during a hearing before the IT subcommittee of the House of Representatives’ Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Law enforcement representatives called on lawmakers to find a way to allow access to encrypted data as a way to prevent serious crime. Late last year, FBI Director James Comey called for a public debate on encryption after Apple and Google announced they would offer new encryption tools on their smartphone OSes.