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Friday - February 20, 2015
classic-video-games
Unlike movies and music, video games aren't systematically archived and preserved. However, many older games, even from the DOS era, can be played via DOSBox, a free open source software emulator. It makes many older DOS games somewhat accessible to a new generation of gamers. It was even used to update the original Wolfenstein 3D and Commander Keen for release on Steam. [More...]

Thursday - February 19, 2015
lenovo-superfish-adware
Lenovo has come under fire for preinstalling spyware on some of its laptops. The software, Superfish, uses the same techniques cybercriminals often employ to crack encrypted traffic. "Superfish is purposely designed to bypass the security of HTTPS websites in a manner that would allow malware and attackers to also bypass the security provided by HTTPS," said Bluebox cofounder Adam Ely. [More...]

Thursday - February 19, 2015
microsoft-azure-machine-learning
Microsoft wants to bring big data to the mainstream, and its new Azure Machine Learning tools will play a major role in that effort. "We've learned how to generate and store data -- but so far, automation hasn't been able to turn that into information, which is data in context," said tech analyst Mike Jude. "That's why you need cognitive computing, machine learning and heuristics." [More...]

Wednesday - February 18, 2015
apple awarded patent
Apple has been awarded a patent for a virtual reality headset that can use an iPhone or iPod as a display. Patent number 8,957,835 was awarded by the USPTO to Apple for a "head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display." The abstract describes a device similar to the Gear VR, which weds a Samsung Note smartphone to a headpiece designed by Oculus. [More...]

Wednesday - February 18, 2015
Welcome to a new edition of Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, your weekly guide to the best and worst of gadgets that have just rolled off the production line for the first time or have the proverbial ink still drying on their press releases. On our conveyor belt this week are a gas-powered portable charger, a clever key fob, a flash drive for secret keepers and a pocket ghost detector. [More...]

Tuesday - February 17, 2015
Kaspersky Lab on Tuesday announced the discovery of what may be the most sophisticated malware ever. The malware's creators, whom Kaspersky has dubbed "The Equation Group," use a never-seen-before tactic to infect hard drives' firmware. The technique "makes traditional antivirus and antimalware software practically useless," said Protegrity VP of Products Yigal Rozenberg. [More...]

Tuesday - February 17, 2015
sony-smart-eyeglass
Considering the "meh" response Google Glass has gotten so far, Sony may be going out on a slender limb with SmartEyeglass, its take on wearable specs. Apart from a form factor that can charitably be called "obtrusive," there's the social unacceptability of turning one's eyes into a camera. "No one has shown that there is a market for this type of eyewear peripheral," said tech analyst Roger Kay. [More...]

Tuesday - February 17, 2015
Encryption has received a lot of attention lately as a solution to the growing data breach problem, but one of the hang-ups dogging the technology has been its ability to play nice in the cloud. That's especially true if an organization wants to control the keys by which its data is scrambled and use services offered by a cloud provider beyond simple storage. [More...]

Monday - February 16, 2015
marissa mayer and gwyneth paltrow
While working on a piece about bad decisions recently, I revisited Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision not to hire Academy Award winner and successful lifestyle author and blogger Gwyneth Paltrow for a lifestyle editing position...because she didn't have a college degree. Let's explore the idea of Paltrow running Yahoo -- and we'll also take a look at my product of the week: an amazing new curved phone from LG. [More...]

Friday - February 13, 2015
"Old formats that contain documents, photos and other data may not be readable with the latest version of the software," warned Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. Cerf added that backwards compatibility is not guaranteed, and over time there could be vast archives of digital content that becomes lost because it simply can't be accessed. [More...]

Friday - February 13, 2015
view-master
Remember the View-Master? You slotted a disc of slides called a 'reel' into the top, clicked the lever on the right, and were thrilled by the scenes before your eyes. Google and Mattel now are teaming up to revive and modernize the View-Master. Mattel on Friday announced a new version that works with Google Cardboard and Android smartphones. Mattel will offer the new View-Master and a sample experience reel this fall, for US$30. [More...]

Friday - February 13, 2015
tim cook apple car
In 10 years, will Apple CarPlay on the dash of a new Ford or GM be enough for Cook? A natural extension of Apple's continuity among products could go to a place where people and families still spend an insane amount of time -- inside of a car. Why stop at work, stop at the home, or stop at your pocket or wrist? If better communication is important to the world, how important is better transportation? [More...]

Friday - February 13, 2015
"Threat researchers do already share this data manually," Jeremy Demar, director of threat research at Damballa, told TechNewsWorld. "The value in systems like this isn't the ability to share raw intelligence [it's the] structured data that allows for the information to be accessed quickly and easily by the users." ThreatExchange is based on Facebook's ThreatData threat analysis framework. [More...]

Friday - February 13, 2015
Facebook on Thursday announced a new feature for members who want to plan for their passing into the digital beyond. The feature allows Facebook members to appoint a "legacy contact" to administer their account when they die. Legacy contacts will, among other powers, have the authority to download an archive of the deceased member's public information, including photos, posts and profile information. [More...]

Thursday - February 12, 2015
The Obama Administration on Tuesday announced plans to set up a national Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center to integrate all data from government agencies and the private sector, and disseminate it appropriately. The intelligence integration center will initially have a staff of 50 and a budget of US$35 million. Reactions from cybersecurity experts were mixed. [More...]

Wednesday - February 11, 2015
Samsung Smart TV
Samsung Smart TV owners, already shaken by news earlier this week that their TVs can transmit voice commands and other private data to third parties, have been hit by another revelation -- that the devices sneak ads into movies they're watching, without the owner's knowledge or consent. A user on the Plex forum complained that a Pepsi ad popped up every 10 to 15 minutes while he was watching his Samsung TV. [More...]

Tuesday - February 10, 2015
Bug bounty programs are used by individual software makers to improve the quality of their products, but they can have incidental benefits for all software makers, too. One of those is to encourage bug hunters to wear a white hat instead of a black one. When you make it easy for hackers to do the right thing, the majority will," noted Alex Rice, CTO of HackerOne. [More...]

Monday - February 9, 2015
Motorists in the United States are increasingly at risk of cyberattacks and violations of privacy, as more and more technology is added to their cars. A report released on Sunday by the office of Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) listed a number of key findings that are based on responses from 16 auto makers to a letter sent to them by Markey's office. [More...]

Monday - February 9, 2015
smart TV privacy
The feature in question may transmit some voice commands, along with information about the device, to a third-party service that converts speech to text, Samsung's global privacy policy warns. If voice recognition is going to be on all the time, "that seems like really poor design, and certainly represents a privacy risk," said Justin Brookman, director of the consumer privacy project at the Center for Democracy & Technology. [More...]

Monday - February 9, 2015
Fast-paced growth in the Information Technology (IT) industry and low unemployment rates for technology workers are making it difficult for corporate executives to find qualified hires. Add to that a bullish frenzy of investor support and corporate acquisitions as key factors driving the continued growth of the technology industry. [More...]

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