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Russian Hacker Shares Millions Of Stolen Email Credentials

May 6, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Millions of stolen credentials for Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo email accounts are being shared online by a young Russian hacker known as “the Collector” as part of a supposed larger trove of 1.17 billion records.

That’s according to Hold Security, which says it has looked at more than 272 million unique credentials so far, including 42.5 million it had never seen before. A majority of the accounts reportedly were stolen from users of Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular email service, but credentials for other services apparently were also included.

Hold discovered the breach when its researchers came across the hacker bragging in an online forum. Though the hacker initially asked Hold for 50 rubles for the initial 10GB stash — that’s equivalent to about 75 cents — he eventually turned it over to them in exchange for likes and votes for him on social media.

Some 40 million of the credentials came from Yahoo Mail, 33 million were from Microsoft Hotmail, roughly 24 million were from Gmail, and nearly 57 million were from Mail.ru, according to Reuters. Thousands of others came from employees of large U.S. companies in banking, manufacturing and retail, and hundreds of thousands more reportedly were from accounts at German and Chinese email providers.

In an email message, Google declined to comment on the incident but said users should establish a recovery phone number for their Google accounts.

Yahoo, Microsoft and Mail.ru did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Intel’s Chief Heading Up FAA’s Drone Advisory Panel

May 6, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

The Federal Aviation Administration is forming an advisory committee, led by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, to guide it on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace.

The formation of the committee could link to plans by the FAA to finalize much-awaited rules for the commercial operation of drones, which will likely pave the way for the widespread use of the airborne devices for deliveries and other applications by companies like Amazon.com and Google.

“By late spring, we plan to finalize Part 107, our small UAS rule, which will allow for routine commercial drone operations,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a speech at a drone event on Wednesday. Huerta had said in January that the the rules would be finalized at the end of spring, but there has been skepticism as the process has been plagued by delays, including missing a September deadline mandated by the Congress.

Members of the new drone advisory committee will include representatives from a variety of organizations with interests in drones, including manufacturers and operators, application service providers, pilots, the FAA, NASA, representatives of manned aviation and the Department of Defense.

Unlike bodies like the UAS registration task force, which developed recommendations for the registration of UAS devices, and the micro UAS aviation rule-making committee set up recently by the FAA for a single purpose and limited duration, the new drone advisory committee is intended to be a long-lasting group that will essentially serve the same purpose as the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee, Huerta said.

Selections by the FAA of members of the advisory committee are expected to be made by May 31, the agency said. Huerta will be the designated federal official on the committee.

 

 

 

YouTube Working On An Online TV service

May 6, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is developing a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer customers a bundle of cable TV channels streamed over the Internet, Bloomberg reported.

The project is slated to debut as soon as 2017, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the plan.

YouTube has discussed these plans with most media companies, including Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and CBS Corp, but has yet to secure any rights, according to Bloomberg.

Comcast, Twenty-First Century Fox and Viacom could not immediately be reached for comment.

Alphabet and CBS declined to comment on the story.

YouTube already offers a $9.99-a-month subscription service called YouTube Red in the United States that allows viewers to watch videos without interruption from advertisements.

 

Intel’s Core i7 Kaby Lake Leaked

May 6, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

On Monday, a SiSoft benchmarking software leak revealed some performance numbers for Intel’s upcoming Core i7 7700K CPU, based on third-generation 14nm Kaby Lake architecture.

According to the results, the Core i7 7700K is a quad-core chip running at 3.60GHz (up to 4.2GHz Turbo) and features eight threads, 8MB of L3 cache, and includes integrated graphics with 24 execution units and the same 1,150MHz clockspeed as the Core i7 6700K (Intel HD Graphics 530, GT2, 24 units).

Running at the 4.20GHz Turbo clock frequency in Windows 10 x64 (and perhaps using an engineering sample), the benchmarks show 118.71 GOPS (giga-operations per second) across eight threads, 313.84 megapixels per-second in the multimedia test, 35.30 GOPS in the Microsoft .NET arithmetic benchmark, 5.59GB/s cryptographic performance, 23.2 nanoseconds DDR4 latency, and 37.41 megapixels per-second GPU performance.

This particular chip is the successor to Intel’s Skylake-based Core i7 6700K, the company’s top quad-core option for Socket LGA 1151, which launched in Q3 2015 at a 4.0GHz base frequency (4.2GHz Turbo), eight threads, 8MB L3 cache and a 91W TDP at $349 MSRP.

Intel’s Core i7 7700K is likely to become the company’s new LGA 1151 unlocked flagship between now and Q3 of next year when it unveils its 10-nanometer Cannonlake lineup (see: Intel’s updated Moore’s Law development model). Meanwhile, most brand vendors will likely start shipping Kaby Lake CPUs between July and October 2016.

Kaby Lake desktop CPUs like the Core i7 7700K will retain full compatibility with existing Intel Z170 motherboards, but the company will also offer a newer 200-series chipset built on LGA 1151 with a few more I/O-side improvements. The chipset is said to include up to 24 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes (up from 20), six native SATA III 6Gbps ports and ten USB 3.0 ports.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Will Samsung Truly Support OLED TVs Next Year?

May 6, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Samsung has rejected a claim from the OLED Association predicting that it would reintroduce an OLED TV lineup in 2017.

President and TV Chief of Samsung Electronics, Kim Hyun-Seok, has reaffirmed that the company has no intentions to manufacture OLED TVs. But it would appear that the rumour will not die that easily.

The Korea Herald said Kim’s “tone and manner was stronger than ever,” which indicates that Samsung might have something else planned for the upcoming lineup of televisions it’s expected to showcase at CES 2017.

Samsung had been investing in OLED research, and so far has been skeptical about adopting it. It has said that the market is not ready for the emerging technology because it costs too much to make and the production process is tricky. Instead Samsung is pushing its newly-developed cadmium-free 10-bit Quantum Dot technology. It already has the manufacturing facilities in place to produce them on a larger scale. It claims that Quantum Dot outpaces current OLED TVs in terms of clarity and brightness.

What cunning plan Samsung has for next year will probably be centred around quantum dot and making sure that it comes out at a cheaper price than what it is on the market now.

Courtesy-Fud

 

IBM Taking Quantum Computing To The Clouds

May 6, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Big Blue has become the first company in the world to offer a quantum computing capability to anyone who wants it.

IBM Quantum Experience is available through the cloud to anyone who needs it (and is willing to pay).

The processor is housed at IBM TJ Watson Research Centre in New York and consists of five superconducting qubits. That is small potatoes and a long way from the number of qubits required to make a Universal Quantum machine, but it’s a significant step nonetheless.

IBM believes that a medium (50-100 qubit) machine will be possible within a decade. Even a 50 qubit machine would be able to take a whizz on any Top 500 supercomputer today (probably making them totes cray-Cray).

“Quantum computers are very different from today’s computers, not only in what they look like and are made of, but more importantly in what they can do. Quantum computing is becoming a reality and it will extend computation far beyond what is imaginable with today’s computers,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director, IBM Research.

“This moment represents the birth of quantum cloud computing. By giving hands-on access to IBM’s experimental quantum systems, the IBM Quantum Experience will make it easier for researchers and the scientific community to accelerate innovations in the quantum field, and help discover new applications for this technology.”

The fragility of quantum data, which can be borked by slight changes in temperature and atmosphere, makes cloud an ideal way to let the public have-at-it safely.

Last year, IBM did something quantumy involving squares.

IBM has created a dedicated interface within the IBM Cloud framework and will be offering it as part of the new IBM Research Frontiers Institute.

Quantum computing is getting closer by the day. If you’re interested in costing up your quarks, go to www.ibm.com/quantumcomputing.

 

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Microsoft Acquires Solair, Dives Deeper Into IoT

May 5, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Microsoft took a deeper dive into Internet of Things technology  with the purchasing of Solair, an Italian company that operates a cloud-based IoT platform.

According to a Microsoft blog post, Solair’s technology will be used to upgrade the company’s Azure IoT Suite, a collection of cloud services meant to help companies use the Internet of Things.

Microsoft and Solair didn’t disclose the financial terms of their deal.

Solair’s technology, which already uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, offers IoT services focused on a variety of markets, including home automation, smart metering, remote maintenance and inventory management.

Microsoft didn’t say specifically what it will get out of Solair’s technology, but it promised to release more details on the integration of the two companies later.

Microsoft acquired Solair for its technology, not its customer base, MachNation analyst Dima Tokar wrote in a commentary. Sam George, the partner director for Azure IoT, said in a blog post that Microsoft is excited about the technology and talent that will come with the acquisition.

Azure is a key part of Microsoft’s corporate strategy. The company is betting big on getting more customers to use its cloud offerings, and acquisitions like this one are aimed at getting more companies to buy into the Azure ecosystem, especially for new workloads like those driven by IoT.

 

Semiconductor Sales Improving

May 5, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Global semiconductor sales saw a slight increase in March for the first time in five months.

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group March chip sales totaled $26.1 billion on a three-month average basis, up 0.3% compared with February.

Total first quarter chip sales totaled just $78.3 billion, down 5.5 per cent  compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 and down 5.8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015.

John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO, in a statement that while global semiconductor sales increased in March for the first time in five months, soft demand, market cyclicality, and macroeconomic conditions continue to impede more robust growth.

First quarter sales declined sequentially in nearly all regions, with the Americas showing the sharpest decline.

March sales improved over February by 4.8 per cent in Japan, 2.3 per cent  in the Asia-Pacific region and 0.1 per cent in Europe. Sales declined by 1.1 per cent  sequentially in China and 2.8 per cent  in the Americas.

Sales for March increased in Japan and compared to March 2015, but decreased significantly in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region, the SIA said. Sales in the Americas were down nearly 16 per cent compared to March 2015.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Oracle Pushes Deeper Into Cloud Computing With Another Acquisition

May 4, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Right on the heels of a similar acquisition last week, Oracle has announced it will pay $532 million to buy Opower, a provider of cloud services to the utilities industry.

Once a die-hard cloud holdout, Oracle has been making up for lost time by buying a foothold in specific industries through acquisitions such as this one. Last week’s Textura buy gave it a leg up in engineering and construction.

“It’s a good move on Oracle’s part, and it definitely strengthens Oracle’s cloud story,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics.

Opower’s big-data platform helps utilities improve customer service, reduce costs and meet regulatory requirements. It currently stores and analyzes more than 600 billion meter readings from 60 million end customers. Opower claims more than 100 global utilities among its clients, including PG&E, Exelon and National Grid.

Opower will continue to operate independently until the transaction closes, which is expected later this year. The union will create the largest provider of mission-critical cloud services to an industry that’s worth $2.3 trillion, Oracle said.

Oracle’s Utilities business delivers applications and cloud services that automate core operational processes and enable compliance for global electric, gas and water utilities.

“Oracle’s industry organizations maintain unique domain knowledge, specialized expertise and focused product investments,” said Rodger Smith, a senior vice president who leads the Utilities global business unit, in a letter to customers and partners. “This model has proven highly successful across several industries, and we look forward to bringing these same benefits to the customers of Opower.”

 

Dell Technologies To Become New Name Of Combined Dell, EMC

May 4, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Dell’s planned $67 billion purchase of EMC will create a broad collection of businesses called Dell Technologies.

Under that banner, the pure Dell name will live on in the company’s client business, including its PCs, while its enterprise infrastructure division will be called Dell EMC, chairman and CEO Michael Dell announced on Monday at EMC World in Las Vegas.

Dell Technologies will be the only company selling everything from edge devices to core data centers and cloud infrastructure, a mission that rival HP backed away from when it split into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc., Dell said.

He pitched the end-to-end strategy as a boon to customers who want a single partner that can do everything, letting them focus on business growth.

“You want technology made easier,” Dell said.

Dell Technologies will include all of what’s called Dell today, plus EMC’s core Information Infrastructure storage division, Pivotal, Virtustream, the partly public VMware and two security businesses: Dell’s SecureWorks and EMC’s RSA unit.

For EMC, owning a collection of semi-autonomous businesses and making them add up to something more is called federation, and it has come under attack from some investors and skeptics. On Monday, Dell called it a family and said Dell Technologies will be able to align its businesses and invest in new technologies at its own pace as a privately held company.

The acquisition is on track under its original terms and timeline, Michael Dell said. The deal still needs regulatory and shareholder approvals.

 

 

Amazon To Beef Up Alexa With Investment In TrackR

May 4, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Amazon.com Inc is investing between $250,000 and $500,000 in Bluetooth technology firm TrackR to expand the reach of its Alexa virtual assistant, according to a source familiar with the matter

Alexa is the cloud-based system that controls the Amazon Echo, a speaker system launched by Amazon in 2014 that has emerged as a surprise hit. “Alexa” is the name the device responds to when users make requests, such as “turn on radio.”

Amazon and TrackR declined to comment on the size of the investment.

Like Apple Inc’s  Siri and Google’s Google Now, Alexa is designed to answer questions or take other actions in response to simple voice queries.

Unlike its rivals, Amazon allows non-Amazon devices to integrate Alexa technology. The investment in TrackR came through Amazon’s $100 million “Alexa Fund,” which invests in and supports technologies that broaden Alexa’s abilities.

Santa Barbara, California-based TrackR uses Bluetooth technology to help track lost items. Users put a small chip on an item, such as a wallet or TV remote, and can order those products to make a sound through their phone so that they can be found.

If a TrackR customer loses an item out of Bluetooth reach, any TrackR user can connect to the device using the company’s network to alert the owner of the lost item.

The Alexa partnership will give the TrackR service a voice response capability and will also integrate in the other direction and enable people to find their lost items via the Echo.

“The ability to bring on more partners and realize that you are building an entire ecosystem – I think that is what was really important for us,” said Chris Herbert, who co-founded TrackR with friend Christian Smith in 2009.

TrackR raised $8.7 million last year in a Series A round led by Foundry Group.

Amazon has made roughly 15 investments so far through the Alexa Fund, including The Orange Chef, which helps connect kitchen prep devices, and Garageio, which makes a connected garage door opener.

 

Samsung Shows Off New FinFet Process

May 4, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Samsung Electronics is introducing a third 14-nano FinFET system semiconductor process that has lower electricity consumption and production cost than previous cost.

According to the Electronic Times, Samsung said that it will soon be completing development of Low-Power Compact (LPC) 14-nano FinFET process. Strategic partners of Samsung’s foundry business are predicting that this process will be used in anger by the end of the year.

All this is moving fast Samsung mass-produced Low Power Early (LPE) Chips, which are 1st generation chips just last year. It has just mass-produced second 2nd generation 14-nano LPP66 (Low Power Plus) chips that have 15 per cent lesser electricity consumption compared to LPE chips.

The Exynos 8 Octa Series and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 443 820 which is under the bonnet of the Galaxy S7 are mass-produced through 14-nano LPP process.
Samsung’s third generation process reduces the number of masks that are used for wafer manufacturing process. It is expected that 14 nano will be around for as long as 28 nano was.

Even when 10-nano and 7-nano processes are developed, there will be many fabless manufacturing companies will still use cost-efficient 14-nano process.

Qualcomm, Samsung and Mediatek recently introduced new 14 and 16-nano AP products that are inexpensive. They will be used for Snapdragon 443 625, Exynos 7870, and Helio P20, and this indicates that a number of chips produced by 14-nano process will increase.

Samsung’s 14-nano LPC process, will start a war with Taiwan’s TSMC in a battle to secure customers. TSMC has three types of 16-nano FinFET processes. It’s first 16-nano FinFET process arrived at the end of 2014.

Courtesy-Fud

 

What Can We Expect From Smartphones In The Future?

May 4, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Mobile

The smartphone market has hit a bit of a lull. Sure, they’ve got bigger and faster (that’s what she said) but it’s been hard to get really excited about new phones recently beyond the fact that, well, they’re new.

The iPhone 7 may – or may not – change this, but it’s more likely to be a new design, a slightly faster processor and maybe a new iOS version.

But what if we look further into the future, say 2020 or 2021, and devices like the iPhone 9 or Galaxy S9? What will hit the market then to get excited about? Mind-control text capabilities? Full 360-degree video filming? Bendable screens? Week-long battery life?

Battery life
Well, let’s start with the battery. Sadly, week-long battery life on a smartphone seems unlikely even by 2020, as Dr Kevin Curran, reader in Computer Science at Ulster University and a senior member of the IEEE, explained to the INQUIRER.

“On average, we only see improvements in capacity of six per cent per annum. So by 2020 we can only really expect a 25 per cent improvement in battery life,” he said.

However, while 25 per cent may sound good, Curran warned that these improvements tend to be offset by the fact the battery has to work harder as devices get more powerful and have higher density pixel displays.

Headlines proclaim major breakthroughs with battery technology, but Curran believes it’s unlikely that battery life will improve significantly, although there is work being done to change this.

“There are promising breakthroughs with regards to lithium-sulphur, supercapacitors, hydrogen fuel cells, solid state batteries and others, but history should tell us to be cautious about any new dramatic claims in having solved the problem of packing energy into a battery,” he said.

OK, so forget battery life. Surely there must be other new and exciting features to look forward to? Well, one technology is thermal imaging.

This was actually unveiled recently on the Cat S60 (pictured below), and Curran believes that other manufacturers will add this to their phones in time.

“This allows for a multitude of use cases, including detecting heat loss around windows and doors, spotting moisture and missing insulation, identifying over-heating electrical appliances and circuitry, and seeing in complete darkness,” he explained.

“This additional sensor allows much better control and depth in the photos you can take,” Curran added.

Meanwhile, analyst house CCS Insight has predicted that wireless charging will be standard by 2020, given that Apple is likely to include this technology in the iPhone 7.  That should save scrabbling around for charging points.

Courtesy-Fud

Phishing Apps Continue To Play Google Play

May 3, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Google’s attempts to safeguard the Android app store — Google Play — are far from perfect, with malicious apps routinely slipping through its review process. Such was the case for multiple phishing applications this year that posed as client apps for popular online payment services.

Researchers from security firm PhishLabs claim that they’ve found 11 such applications since the beginning of 2016 hosted on Google Play, most of them created by the same group of attackers.

The apps are simple, yet effective. They load Web pages containing log-in forms that look like the target companies’ websites. These pages are loaded from domain names registered by the attackers, but because they are loaded inside the apps, users don’t see their actual location.

In some cases attackers registered domain names that are similar to those of the impersonated online payment services, PhishLab Security Threat Analyst Joshua Shilko said in a blog post.

More recently, attackers used domain names similar to those of cryptocurrency companies, suggesting that the cryptocurrency industry is also targeted.

PhishLabs did not name the exact payment card companies and online payment services whose users were targeted by these fake apps. However, most of those companies provide links to their official mobile applications on their websites and users should always use those links instead of manually searching for them on the Play store.

“In one case, a targeted company explicitly states on their website that no mobile application exists for their company and that users should be wary of any mobile application using their brand,” Shilko said.

The danger is that if phishers manage to routinely bypass Google’s review process and upload such apps to the Google Play store, their attacks might extend to other industries in the future.

Another problem is that even when these apps are detected by third-parties and reported, it can take several days for Google to remove them from the app store, leaving a sufficiently large window of opportunity for attackers. It’s not clear how attackers promote these fake apps or if they rely only on users finding them themselves, but in general phishing attacks are most effective during the first several hours after they’re launched.

 

 

VeVo Hits 17 Billion While Calling Goof The Devil

May 3, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

Vevo might be the new MTV for millennials, who might not know MTV that played music a few decades ago. Vevo CEO Erik Huggers had an interview at a Hunter Walk blog talking about YouTube, subscription base and the future.

Vevo CEO, ex Intel and ex BBC executive Erik Huggers mentioned that the Vevo will get a subscription based service but for the time being the company will stay with add supported content. Huggers first worked first on the iBBC player and later at Intel OnCue, then Verizon before getting the Vevo CEO.

The company has announced a new Apple TV, iOS and Android applications for people who like to watch the content on the TV console or their tablets and phones. Huggers mentioned that Vevo was getting 17 billion unique views per month. He said that if you are musician you will prefer Spotify for audio streaming and Vevo to YouTube, and here is why.

Peter Mensch, the manager of bands including Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse  told a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the music business:

“YouTube, they’re the devil. We don’t get paid at all.”

The BBC quoted him saying that YouTube was killing the record industry.

There is now way you can say it better than this, Mensch obviously knows what he is talking about. When we dug a bit deeper into the issue, bands have issues with complete albums being uploaded to YouTube. The big bands don’t get paid at all, at least according to Peter Mensch.

Vevo might turn its back to YouTube, despite its current business model where the company uses YouTube to distribute its videos. We see a big change coming. Artists are obviously not happy as people are ripping their stuff and not paying.

Online publishing was an area where big mistakes were made 20 + years ago. Online magazines usually rely on marketing, same as YouTube, but it seems that YouTube, Facebook and other big social based website make a lot of money and giving YouTubers and artists pennies.

Huggers believes Vevo can offer a tailored experience which is personalised for individuals who love music videos via various channels including Apple TV or mobile applications. Imagine if Vevo starts offering exclusive concert footage of your favourite bands, this would probably be worth of a few bucks a month, wouldn’t it?

Courtesy-Fud