Featured Report: Winning the Cybersecurity War Within
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Thursday - August 13, 2015
xiaomi-redmi-note-2
Xiaomi has announced its new Redmi Note 2, getting a jump on Samsung's announcement of two new smartphone entries. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 2 comes with a 2-GHz octacore Mediatek Helio X10 CPU and 16 GB of flash memory. The Redmi Note 2 Prime edition comes with a 2.2-GHz octacore MTK Helio X10 CPU and 32 GB of flash memory. The phones will sell in China at price points equivalent to about $125 to $140. [More...]

Thursday - August 13, 2015
alphabet-google-ceo-sundar-pichai
"A" is for new Google parent company "Alphabet," for Sundar Pichai's "ascension" to CEO, and for a slimmed-down search engine company that seeks to become more "agile." Consumers may wonder if that "A" also stands for "altruism." Pichai's work ethic and congeniality helped drive his ascension to the top, and he'll need both to redirect the mounting mistrust of Google -- his greatest challenge yet. [More...]

Thursday - August 13, 2015
A clandestine group of sophisticated Chinese hackers have infected scores of sites on the Web and stolen documents from industrial and government organizations with surgical precision, according to a Dell SecureWorks study released last week. Dubbed "Threat Group 3390," the cybergang has used infected websites of some 100 organizations across the globe. [More...]

Wednesday - August 12, 2015
Qualcomm on Wednesday unveiled its Adreno 5xx GPU architecture next-generation visual processing technology and its 14-bit Spectra image signal processing unit at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. The first two GPUs to use the new architecture, the Adreno 530 and 510, will be integrated in Qualcomm's forthcoming Snapdragon 820 and 620/618 processors. The Snapdragon 820 also will feature the 14-bit ISP. [More...]

Wednesday - August 12, 2015
everybodys-gone-to-the-rapture-chinese-room-sony-playstation
With the post-apocalyptic adventure game Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Sony may have a cult classic on its hands. The PlayStation 4 exclusive became available Tuesday. The Chinese Room, a game development studio that previously worked exclusively on PC and Mac titles, developed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture with the support of Sony and SCE's Santa Monica Studio. [More...]

Tuesday - August 11, 2015
Infamous security researcher Sammy Kamkar last week demonstrated a gadget that can intercept wireless signals to unlock cars and garage doors. Kamkar showed off the device, which cost him just $32 to make, at the DefCon conference in Las Vegas. RollJam works with a wide array of motor vehicles -- including Nissan, Cadillac, Ford, Toyota, Lotus, Volkswagen and Chrysler, according to Kamkar. [More...]

Monday - August 10, 2015
ibm-watson-healthcare-images
IBM last week announced a $1 billion deal to acquire Merge Health, a provider of enterprise imaging and clinical system, with the goal of giving the supercomputer "eyes." There are compelling synergies in the marriage of Merge's medical imaging and IBM's notable resources in analytics, cloud and cognitive computing, noted Jon Peddie Research's Kathleen Maher. [More...]

Monday - August 10, 2015
daily-show-jon-stewart
Like a lot of folks, I'm starting to go through withdrawals because The Daily Show with Jon Stewart dropped off the air last week. It is kind of amazing that it was how a massive number of us actually kept up on the news, given it wasn't a real news program. However, while the show was a commercial success, it appeared that wasn't its only goal. [More...]

Sunday - August 9, 2015
windows-10-installation-problems
The fact that Microsoft has posted a Web page for users to "Get help with Windows 10 upgrade and installation errors" probably is just the latest sign that the release of its new -- and highly anticipated -- operating system has some problems that need to be resolved. It appears things haven't been going as smoothly as the company would have liked since Windows 10 became generally available. [More...]

Saturday - August 8, 2015
apple-watch
In truth, the Nico Gerard Skyview Pinnacle is more an accessory than a gadget, but it's so repugnant and ridiculous that it's impossible not to include it this week. Someway, somehow, watchmaker Nico Gerard found it prudent to create a watch that can accommodate an Apple Watch on its band, mounted where the clasp is located. It starts at $9,300. The Pinnacle is colossally absurd. [More...]

Friday - August 7, 2015
social-media-pew-study-teens-online
Teens have been using digital media to create bonds that extend well beyond playing games or tweeting, according to a study Pew Research released Thursday. Along with likes and shares and tags and retweets have come beefing, berating, trolling and blocking. Although a lot of social activity appears superficial, that's not always the case. Some long-term friendships have been forged online. [More...]

Friday - August 7, 2015
windows-10-privacy
"Tablet view is showing saved porn images," wrote Reddit user "FalloutBos." "Woke up to wife asking why I set it to rotate all my porn images right on the desktop view. I have no idea [how] to shut that feature off and that computer is staying shut down until I do." That incident raised howls of laughter, but it points to one of the problems early users of Microsoft's new OS have reported. [More...]

Thursday - August 6, 2015
lexus-hoverboard
The Lexus Hoverboard may look kind of like the one from Back to the Future, but don't put one on your holiday gift list this year. "It isn't remotely practical," noted tech analyst Rob Enderle. "You both need a very special and expensive surface, and a supercooled superconductor solution in the board -- and even then, you'd likely have more fun with wheels." [More...]

Thursday - August 6, 2015
Demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to far outpace supply, according to a Burning Glass Technologies report released last week. Cybersecurity hiring remains concentrated in government agencies and among defense contractors, the third annual cybersecurity job market report notes, but hiring has started to boom in industries handling consumer data. [More...]

Wednesday - August 5, 2015
I've been waiting for a new Apple TV from Apple for years, and I've been disappointed each time a major Apple event came and went without one. Plus, I've been waiting for Apple to come along and disrupt the cable/satellite TV bundling status quo with some sort of a la carte streaming service, also to no avail. Now I don't think that second wish matters much at all. [More...]

Wednesday - August 5, 2015
Halo 5 Guardians
Microsoft on Tuesday launched the Rare Replay collection -- the best games lineup in Xbox History, according to Xbox Chief Phil Spencer -- at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Even some loyal Xbox fans might disagree with that proclamation, but Microsoft attempted to back up its assertion with a content-rich presentation bedazzled with exclusive games. [More...]

Tuesday - August 4, 2015
autodesk-stingray-game-engine
Tired of serving as just a pretty face, Autodesk on Monday announced that it's putting its muscle into the business of making video games. The new Stingray engine, introduced at the Game Developers Conference, pulls together Autodesk's efforts in the games space. Stringray is a cross-platform engine that supports Xbox One, PlayStation 4, the Oculus Rift, Windows, Android and iOS. [More...]

Tuesday - August 4, 2015
os-x-zero-day-vulnerability-exploit-mac
Mac users, beware -- the ads you see on the Web could let hackers hijack your device. Malwarebytes has discovered a new zero-day exploit in OS X that lets apps bypass passwords during installation to get root permission through a Unix shell. A new adware installer downloaded by a Malwarebytes researcher modified his sudoers file -- a hidden Unix file that controls access to root permissions. [More...]

Tuesday - August 4, 2015
Apple reportedly is working on a service that will enlist Siri to transcribe voice mail messages for iPhone users. The service could roll out in 2016, possibly as a new feature in iOS 10. When a call is placed to a phone that has iCloud Voicemail enabled and you don't answer it, Siri will pick it up for you. If your caller leaves a voice message, Siri will notify you and send you a transcription. [More...]

Monday - August 3, 2015
windows-10
What I find most interesting about Windows 10 is that if Apple wanted to knock Microsoft off the desktop, then it -- not Microsoft -- should have released a product like this. When I say "like this," I mean one that could transform a smartphone into a PC. My reasoning is that Microsoft is relatively weak in smartphones, and Apple currently is kicking Google all over the market. [More...]

Saturday - August 1, 2015
dot-braille-smartwatch
Dot is a smartwatch that may have life-changing implications. Rather than trying to convey information through tiny text on a small screen, Dot intends to provide visually impaired wearers with notifications through Braille. Four sets of the six dots that signify characters in the Braille system raise and lower as quickly as 100 times per second to denote four characters simultaneously. [More...]

Friday - July 31, 2015
angry-birds-2-rovio
Angry Birds 2 -- the 13th installment of Angry Birds and the original game's first proper sequel -- on Thursday became available for iOS and Android. The free-to-play model is a call to players beyond its base. However, those new players may slip through developer Rovio's fingers if the game's features fail to motivate them to play with real money [More...]

Friday - July 31, 2015
microsoft-edge-browser
Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has published an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, calling on him to offer Windows 10 users an easier way to set their browser preferences. Beard characterized the lack of choice in the Windows 10 experience as "very disturbing." It appears to have been designed to force users into an experience Microsoft wants them to have instead of one they want, he charged. [More...]

Friday - July 31, 2015
trackingpoint-smart-rifle-hacked
Security researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger have hacked a TrackingPoint smart rifle that was designed to deliver sharpshooter results, even for novices. They demonstrated their feat for Wired and will present their findings at the week-long Black Hat 2015 security conference in Las Vegas, which begins Saturday. The two purchased a pair of $13,000 rifles and spent a year working on them. [More...]

Thursday - July 30, 2015
Some proposed federal rules on the export of security tools created a tumult in cybersecurity circles -- a tumult that's pushed the rules into limbo. The comment period for the rules, which the U.S. Department of Commerce first aired in May, ended July 20 -- and although the regulations have noble intentions, they also could have dire consequences. [More...]

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