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Are Evernote Extensions Spamming Chrome?

August 21, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Malwarebytes has warned of a fake Evernote extension for Chrome that spams users with unwanted advertisements by injecting Javascript into every webpage they visit.

The vulnerability means that on the surface, it looks like the popups and advertisements are coming from the websites users are visiting, when they are actually coming from the fake Evernote web extension.

Researchers at the company discovered the vulnerability in a “multi-plug .PUP” file, which installs the fake Evernote browser extension.

A PUP file is one that has the .pup file extension and is most commonly associated with the Puppy Linux operating system. PUP files run when an installer program is opened on the user’s computer and they are similar to the installer.exe files that are used with Windows applications.

“A quick look shows the PUP is digitally signed by ‘Open Source Developer, Sergei Ivanovich Drozdov’, although the certificate has since been revoked by the Issuer. This serves as another reminder that you can’t always trust a program just because it’s digitally signed,” said Malwarebytes malware intelligence analyst Joshua Cannell.

“When you execute the PUP, it silently installs a web extension for the Google Chrome, Torch, and Comodo Dragon browsers. The extension takes the form of three obfuscated JavaScript files and one HTML file. These files [are] installed in Chrome’s extension directory on a Windows 7 PC.”

For Google Chrome, the installation of the web extension is achieved by updating the “Preferences” file, which is a Javascript Object Notation (JSON) formatted file used to configure Chrome user preferences. The extension that’s installed is called “Evernote Web”, just like the real extension from evernote.com, but when taking a look at the Chrome extensions page, Malwarebytes found the extension installed there with the ID “lbfehkoinhhcknnbdgnnmjhiladcgbol”, just like the real Evernote Web extension.

“Clicking ‘Visit website’ directs the user to the Chrome webstore page for the actual Evernote Web extension,” Cannell added. “Chrome believes the real extension is installed, as verified by the Launch App button. When clicking this button with the fake extension installed, nothing happens, whereas normally the user is met with an Evernote login screen.”

Cannell explained that this is because the extension uses a content script to run in the context of the webpages a user browses.

“The content script is guaranteed to be loaded into every web page using the extension manifest (manifest.json). When visiting webpages, you’ll get a series of annoying advertisements, all leading to potentially more unwanted programs and offers,” he added.

To remove the extension, Chrome users need to visit the extensions tab in the browser and click the picture of a garbage can.

Evernote hit the headlines for its security concerns last year when it emerged that its network had been compromised by hackers.

The online note-taking service issued a password reset for all users after the discovery. It said that it “discovered and blocked” suspicious activity on its network, but claimed that no user data was compromised during the intrusion.

“In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost,” Evernote said.

 

Courtesy-TheInq

Applied Materials Profits Up

August 19, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Chip-equipment maker Applied Materials has surprised most of the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street with a better-than-expected third-quarter profit. It appears that contract manufacturers are spending more on technology used to make smartphone and memory chips.

The company also forecast current-quarter adjusted profit largely above analysts’ average estimate. Chief Executive Gary Dickerson said that demand for DRAM chips is expected to grow in the current quarter.

Applied Materials, which also provides equipment to make flat panel displays and solar cells, forecast an adjusted profit of 25-29 cents per share for the fourth quarter. Wall Street was expecting a profit of 26 cents per share.

Applied Materials expects revenue growth of about 10 to 17 percent, implying revenue of $2.19 billion to $2.33 billion for the quarter. Analysts on average were expecting $2.28 billion. Applied Materials’ net income rose to $301 millionin the third quarter ended July 27, from $168 milliona year earlier. Revenue rose 14.7 percent to $2.27 billion.

Revenue in the company’s silicon systems business, which brings in about two-thirds of total sales, rose 16 percent to $1.48 billion.

Courtesy-Fud

Lenovo Selling More Mobile Phones Than PCs

August 15, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Lenovo’s growing presence in PCs and smartphones boosted the company’s net profit by 23% in the second quarter.

The company reported Thursday that its net profit reached $214 million, while quarterly revenue increased 18 percent year-over-year to $10.4 billion.

Although better known as a PC maker, Lenovo has been making major gains selling mobile handsets in its home market of China. It is now the country’s largest smartphone vendor with a 12.5% share of the market, according to research firm IDC.

The second quarter was the first time Lenovo smartphones outsold its PCs, with 15.8 million units, the company reported on Thursday.

Lenovo’s handsets still aren’t making as much money as PCs. Almost half its revenue came from selling laptops, while its mobile devices division, which includes tablets, accounted for only 15% of its total revenue in the quarter.

The company’s PC business has in the past been helped by its huge presence in its home market of China. But in the second quarter, Lenovo reported that it was also making gains in PC sales to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In those markets, the company’s revenue reached $2.8 billion, up from $1.9 billion a year ago.

Lenovo, which currently ranks as the number one PC vendor in the world, is trying to expand in servers and mobile devices. Earlier this year, the company announced it would acquire Google’s Motorola Mobility, and IBM’s x86 server business.

Lenovo is still working with regulators to get approval for those deals.

 

Intel Considers ARM As Its Biggest Competitor

August 13, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel said it is watching closely its “biggest competitor” after the Tame Apple Press released a daft story about Apple replacing all its Intel chips with Arm.

Dylan Larson, ?director for Intel’s Xeon product marketing, told a workshop in Intel’s Hillsboro campus in Oregon that Intel was keeping a close eye on Arm which it sees as its biggest rival. He said the chip maker needs to do more in the mobile devices segment to increase its foothold as Internet of Things gathers momentum.

Intel should not have bothered. The silly season story was sparked by a blog from former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee in which he said: “When Apple announced its 64-bit A7 processor, I dismissed the speculation that this could lead to a switch away from Intel chips for the Macintosh line for a homegrown ‘desktop-class’ chip. I might have been wrong.”

This was seized on by the tame Apple Press that Jobs’ Mob was going to drop Intel for its own homemade chips. This is based on the religious conviction that Arm designs and alongside Apple brilliance will come close to Intel any time soon. While this might be true in smartphones they not really comparing like with like.

Billy Cox, Intel’s general manager for the software development division told Computer Weekly that Arm has some bright people working for it and they are capable of innovating, but Intel has invested years in research and innovation.

AMD has said that, by the fourth quarter of 2014, ARM-powered servers will start shipping. Market analysts expect that ARM processors will account for 20 per cent of server units shipped by 2019. Larson said Intel was still at least two years ahead of ARM in the server market, and besides being server focused was so five years ago.

“We are already doing that – five years ago we were more server-focused. Today we take a holistic approach,” Larson said.

He said that the Internet of things might mean mobile chips but it also leads to big data, and enterprises need sophisticated datacentre infrastructure to analyse that data, said Larson.

“Our datacentre strategy, which encompasses compute, storage and networking, is aimed at providing enterprises with a software-defined architecture.”

Courtesy-Fud

Zynga Sales Continue With A Downward Trend

August 11, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Gaming

Last week Zynga reported results for the quarter that ended June 30, revealing declining revenues and deepening losses. In the process, the company also lowered its outlook for the full year.

For the second quarter, Zynga posted revenues of $153.2 million, down 34 percent year-over-year. The company also saw a net loss of $62.5 million, compared to the previous second quarter’s loss of $15.8 million. On a non-GAAP basis, Zynga reported bookings down almost 7 percent to $175.1 million, with a non-GAAP net income of $2.8 million, as opposed to the $6.1 million non-GAAP net loss it reported for last year’s second quarter.

“While our quarterly financial results were in line with our guidance range, we aspire to do better and improve execution across our business,” Zynga CEO Don Mattrick said. “Inside Zynga, we recognize that our products have the potential to live for multiple years and with nurturing, refinement and investment, they can grow and scale. We are purposefully competing, and while we would like to be further along, we believe we are making the right decisions to grow our business and unlock long term shareholder value.”

The results convinced Zynga to downgrade its outlook for the full year, as it now projects bookings of $695-$725 million, down from $770-$810 million. Meanwhile, Zynga expects its full-year non-GAAP earnings per share to be flat to down a penny, compared to the previous guidance of up one to three cents.

On the plus side, Zynga’s daily active users, monthly active users, monthly unique payers, and monthly unique users were all up quarter-over-quarter. However, all of those metrics were down significantly year-over-year.

Zynga shares were down nearly 8 percent as of this writing to $2.69 in after-hours trading.

Courtesy-GI.biz

HP Increases SlateBook 14 Pricing, Begins Shipments

August 5, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Hewlett-Packard’s SlateBook 14 laptop with Google’s Android OS has started shipping on schedule, but it’s priced at $429, which is $30 more than the company had said it would cost.

The laptop, which has a 14-inch screen and Android 4.3, was announced in June. At the time, HP said it would be priced at $399.

It is available on HP’s website.

The SlateBook 14 was introduced after customers told HP they wanted laptops with Android. The laptop has an interface similar to that on Android tablets and can adjust mobile apps to run on the larger touchscreen. Users will also be able to sync laptop data with mobile devices and vice versa.

The laptop is also for those who rely on the Web for most of their computing, much like Chromebooks. It has a few advantages over Chromebooks, with support for key Android apps such as Skype. Android also boasts better wireless printing support than Chromebooks.

The laptop weighs 1.68 kilograms and offers nine hours of battery life, according to specifications on HP’s website.

It has a quad-core Tegra 4 processor, 2GB of DRAM and 16GB of storage. Connectivity features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. It also has a webcam, USB 3.0 port and a micro-SD slot for expandable storage.

It could be a strong multimedia laptop with a 1920 x 1080 pixel screen and an integrated graphics processor that can handle 4K video. TVs can be connected to the laptop through an HDMI port.

 

Video Streaming Company RayV Acquired By Yahoo

July 15, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Yahoo has purchased online video streaming company RayV with the aim of distributing content to more consumers, mostly through mobile devices.

RayV, founded in 2005, is focused on efficiently distributing HD-quality video to a global audience, with a focus on mobile.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Yahoo is focused on growing video users and monthly streams, and while we’re only getting started, we’re very focused on this in 2014,” Yahoo said in its announcement of the deal.

RayV’s service will improve Yahoo’s underlying technology infrastructure, and most of RayV’s employees will join Yahoo’s R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel.

A deal between Yahoo and RayV was in the works for at least a couple months, according to The Wall Street Journal. The acquisition comes as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is focused on giving people more of a reason to visit Yahoo’s site, partly through original online shows.

Yahoo’s Screen portal includes a range of videos including original news, as well as content from partners like Comedy Central, BuzzFeed and Saturday Night Live.

Yahoo recently announced that it would be airing the television show “Community” on Screen, after it was canceled by NBC earlier this year.

 

eBay’s Braintree Wants To Boost Mobile Shopping

July 11, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Braintree, the payments gateway owned by eBay Inc, is working on removing a hurdle for e-commerce companies by making it easier for customers to directly pay for products on their smart phones.

The company rolled out a set of tools for software developers on Wednesday that allows businesses to deduct payments directly from a customer’s PayPal account.

The developer kit is the first big push from Braintree since it was bought by eBay for $800 million last year to help PayPal, eBay’s payments division, expand its presence on mobile devices.

Eliminating the need for mobile shoppers to type in their credit card details on their phones should help boost sales, Braintree Chief Executive Bill Ready said in an interview.

This is especially critical as consumers spend more time on their smartphones, a trend that is forcing developers to design a “fundamentally different computing experience” for the smaller screen, Ready added.

Braintree processes payments for businesses including car service Uber and online home-rental marketplace Airbnb.

 

 

Qualcomm Believes Mobile Devices Will Drive 4K Adoption

July 10, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Mobile

QUALCOMM has stated that mobile devices will be the driving force behind the dominance of 4K content creation and consumption due to the general mass adoption of smartphones and the affordability of devices that support the resolution.

Speaking at a Qualcomm and EE event in Westminster today, president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Europe Enrico Salvatori showed a slide entitled “Mobile is the driving force behind the rise of 4K: the biggest generator of 4K content could be in your pocket already”.

“4K in particular on the TV side is already happening [but] what is the link between from 4K and mobile?” Salvitori asked. “The link is with the user experience we can provide with the display resolution in this space,” he said.

“Why we think we should start to invest in 4K [and] make [it] available in the smartphone and tablet is that, at the end of the day, the device will provide the content, so the mass adoption of the smartphone is driving it in terms of making it available.

“The smartphone is a consumer device that is affordable, so the 4k content will be available in a huge number of users.”

Salvatori said that smartphones, which are increasingly supporting 4K recording and playback, are expected to reach 3.7 billion in 2017, and this, alongside the affordability of mobile in comparison to other 4K content playback devices, such as 4K TVs, is why Qualcomm thinks high resolution content will be pushed by mobile.

The ability of 4K content generation of mobile phones is another major driving force for 4K prevalence, Salvatori said. He mentioned the high resolution cameras being fitted as standard in smartphones, for example.

The relatively short three-year replacement cycle of smartphones and tablets will also be responsible for the dominance of 4K content, Qualcomm said, compared with the five-year replacement cycle of PCs and eight to 10 years of TVs.

“We can upgrade the consumer electronic device or the smartphone to the 4K with a short cycle so this means that the smart device will be the entry door for the 4K content into the market and then of course through the device we can provide the content,” Salvitori added.

With this in mind, Qualcomm has ensured that its most recent flagship mobile processor, the Snapdragon 805, supports 4K content, combined with a wireless modem that is capable of supporting the delivery of high quality data over 4G connections.

At its event today, Qualcomm also said 4K technology will go mainstream this year, with 78 percent of UK retails expecting a growth in 4K devices being promoted for Christmas, with 60 percent of those retailers considering that video created on mobile device “to be a critical” contributor in driving 4K content adoption.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Get Ready For More Ads On Twitter

July 2, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Get ready to see  see more ads on your Twitter feed that link to mobile apps in the Apple and Google stores.

After a test period, Twitter said that it was globally deploying its “mobile app installs” program, which allows companies to promote their mobile apps in users’ feeds.

Twitter began testing the program with a limited number of advertisers in the U.S. in April — tests that the company says went well. Participants in that program included mobile ride-hailing service Lyft and games publisher Electronic Arts.

The program lets companies publish links to download mobile apps. These ads are meant to appear like regular posts in users’ feeds.

Mobile app ads have become very successful for Facebook, helping to drive the download of roughly 60 percent of the top-grossing apps in Apple’s App Store, according to Facebook.

Twitter, for its part, is looking to better monetize its service amid sagging user growth. The company has yet to turn a profit.

Twitter already lets advertisers target their ads by users’ interests, keywords, favorite TV programs, language and other criteria.

Advertisers promoting their mobile apps will be able to leverage those capabilities too, Twitter said.

 

 

Google Wants Closer Relationship Between Chromebooks, Android Devices

June 27, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Chromebooks will soon be capable of receiving notifications and running applications from Android smartphones and tablets.

Google is working on bridging the gap Chromebook laptops and Android mobile devices, making app and data exchange seamless, said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, during a speech at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

Users will be able to run Android applications such as Vine, Evernote and Flipboard on mobile devices or Chromebooks, Pichai said. In an on-stage demonstration, the applications were transferred from a smartphone to Chromebook.

“We’ve been working on this project for a while,” Pichai said. “We want this to be intuitive for users.”

Other demonstrations highlighted how the Chromebook was linked to Android smartphones. A Chromebook showed notifications about an incoming call and text message on a smartphone, and also showed an alert that the smartphone battery was low. This is similar to how smartwatches display notifications and music playlists from Android smartphones.

Chromebooks are primarily aimed at users who do most of their computing on the Web. A handful of smartphone-like features such as Google Now have been added to the Chromebook, whose users are also able to download movies from Google Play to watch offline.

Chromebooks have larger screens than Android mobile devices and one challenge is to port touchscreen mobile applications to Chromebooks for use with mice and keyboards, Pichai said.

Developers may have to modify code to work on different screen sizes and input mechanisms. Google hopes to make it easier for developers to change code so the applications can be adapted for Android and Chrome interfaces, Pichai said.

The feature updates will be delivered to Chromebooks later this year, Pichai said.

The Android and Chrome OSes are based on Linux, but are built as different operating systems. Google will continue to make adjustments to the OSes so mobile devices and PCs can connect and work seamlessly, Pichai said.

“We are investing a lot more in this area,” Pichai said.

 

 

Amtrak Exploring Building Its Own Wireless Networks

June 11, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Amtrak is exploring ways it can upgrade the on-board Wi-Fi service on its Acela trains between Washington and Boston, which is notoriously poor for passengers, especially during rush-hour travel.

Amtrak said in a statement it is exploring the possibility of building a dedicated wireless network along the tracks for a high-capacity network that would stretch the entire 457 miles of the Northeast Corridor route.

Amtrak is accepting bids for the project, which would increase the total available bandwidth per train from 10 Mbps to a minimum of 25 Mbps. The bids would be only for a proof-of-concept to see whether it is technically and financially feasible to build the network.

“We know that our customers want a consistently reliable and fast on-board Wi-Fi experience — something we cannot guarantee today on our busiest trains when hundreds of customers want to go online at the same time,” Amtrak chief marketing and sales officer Matt Hardison said.

For years, Amtrak has promoted its faster and more modern Acela trains along the route, which can bring passengers from either Boston or Washington to Penn Station in New York City in under four hours, faster than other trains.

Even so, Wi-Fi service on Amtrak trains along the route is sometimes so poor that users can’t log on, especially during rush hours, when trains are filled with business travelers, some logging on with multiple devices. Amtrak restricts Wi-Fi users from making large file downloads and streaming media to their laptops, tablets and phones, but that solution hasn’t helped.

Amtrak posted a procurement document indicating that contractor interest in the bid must be filed by June 12, with a site visit on June 18.

 

Is Intel Heading Into The Automobile Space?

June 4, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel has announced a new family of products aimed at the automotive industry. Intel’s platform is designed for entertainment, navigation and there are some “smartcar” features, too.

The first product is basically a board with an Intel processor on top, but its real value is in the software, not hardware. Intel is developing a Linux-based environment for auto applications and it does not appear to have much in common with Intel’s previous efforts in the field. Intel’s extensive experience in bringing new x86 platforms to market and backing them with the necessary software is unmatched. In addition, Intel should have no problem offering support for a wide range of software platforms down the road.

Significant investment, potentially huge market

Intel Capital started making significant investments in the automotive space two years ago, with the creation of the Intel Capital Connected Car Fund, a $100 million fund tasked with accelerating development in the automotive niche.

The automotive infotainment market is growing at a healthy rate. There is no consensus on the CAGR, but most research firms put it in double digit territory. Growth is picking up, too. GSMA believes the market will grow threefold in just five years, eventually hitting $38 billion by 2018.

The automotive niche is getting a lot of attention from leading chipmakers such as Texas Instruments and Nvidia. In fact, Nvidia is in the process of reshaping its SoC strategy to better tap this market, shifting focus away from smartphones in the process.

The mobile market is overheating and growth is slowing down. As a result new niches such as wearables, IoT, home automation and automotive platforms are attracting more investment.

Speeding up time-to-market

Intel is touting speed as its key differentiator. The chipmaker believes it can drastically reduce infotainment development time, allowing carmakers to bring their solutions to market faster than the competition. Intel claims it can reduce development time by more than a year and cut costs by as much as 50 percent.

It is not just about music and navigation. Smart cars are the next big step and Intel wants to be a part of the self-driving car revolution.

“Our goal is to fuel the evolution from convenience features available in the car today to enhanced safety features of tomorrow and eventually self-driving capabilities,” said Doug Davis, Intel VP, IoT group.

In spite of the mobile boom witnessed over the past decade, most cars in showrooms today are ‘dumb’, not to mention older vehicles on the road. It is not just about making parallel parking a breeze. Smart automotive platforms promise to deliver huge improvements in terms of efficiency and safety. Convenience is just one small part of the puzzle.

Courtesy-Fud

Did Intel Miss The Boat In The Tablet Space?

June 3, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has admitted the obvious – Intel missed the boat on tablets.

Speaking at the Code Conference, Krzanich said the company was slow to react to the emergence of tablets and smartphones.

“There was a belief that tablets would be a consumption device only (and) that people would come back to the laptop and the PC. There were heavy debates within Intel and it took a while for us to accept and acknowledge that data. Companies make mistakes,” Krzanich told Walt Mossberg in an interview.

In other words at least part of Intel’s failure to tap the emerging mobile market a few years ago was internal wrangling.

The course shifted under the Krzanich regime. Last Intel President Renee James and Krzanich made it clear that the company is now treating its Atom line-up just like its big cores. For years the company treated Atoms as a sideshow, making sure that they would not eat into Core sales.

ARM had different ideas and so did AMD, they went after the tablet and essential notebook markets. As a result ARM currently dominates the mobile space, while AMD managed to carve a nice niche in the entry-level x86 segment, with Brazos and Kabini parts.

Intel is fighting back, but it is paying a heavy price. The company is on track to quadruple its tablet SoC shipments to 40 million units this year, but it has to pay through the nose to get there. As for the smartphone market, Intel is all but absent.

Krzanich insists he is not giving up on the phone and tablet space. He wants Intel to take a 15 to 20 percent market share in these segments, which sounds very ambitious. Thanks to generous subsidies it has a good chance in the tablet space. This week Intel announced a deal with Rockchip, which should also boost its presence in the booming tablet market in China.

However, so far the company has not rolled out a compelling smartphone SoC and it’s lagging behind the competition in LTE integration.

Courtesy-Fud

DARPA Touts ‘Hack-proof’ Drone Technology

May 29, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

In a claim similar to  Oracle Corp.’s old “unbreakable” marketing campaign of several years ago, the U.S. military has built what it calls a hack proof drone.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developed the unmanned aerial vehicle under its High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) program, military blog Defense Tech reported last week.

DARPA unveiled a prototype of the mini-drone last week during a broader demonstration of over 100 ongoing research projects at the agency.

DARPA’s HACMS program was created to develop technologies for improving the security of embedded systems in drones, weapons systems, aircraft,supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and medical and mobile devices.

HACMS is looking especially at interactive software synthesis systems, code verification tools and new specification languages, DARPA said. If the technologies prove successful, DARPA will make them available for use in commercial and defense systems.

“HACMS will adopt a clean-slate, formal methods-based approach to enable semi-automated code synthesis from executable, formal specifications,” DARPA said in a statement. In addition to generating code, HACMS will also develop technology for ensuring that all generated code satisfies security and safety policies.

Software developed for the quadcopter drone makes it impervious to attacks by hackers that try to take over its navigation and control systems. “The software is mathematically proven to be invulnerable to large classes of attack,” HACMS program manager Kathleen Fisher told Defense Tech.

All attempts to hack into the drone during red-team exercises and other penetration tests by cyber security experts failed, she told the military blog site.

DARPA did not respond to request for comment on the technology.

If the software really works as billed, it would be a big step forward for the Pentagon. Over the past six years, there have been at least two known incidents in which U.S. military drones were apparently being hacked into by attackers.