Tag: Tech

This Robotic Finger Attachment For Your Smartphone Will Gently Caress Your Hand

Our smartphones are cold, passive devices that usually can’t move autonomously unless they’re falling onto our faces while we’re looking at them in bed.

A research team in France is exploring ways to change that by giving our smartphones the ability to interact with us more.

MobiLimb is a robotic finger attachment that plugs in through a smartphone’s Micro USB port, moves using five servo motors, and is powered by an Arduino microcontroller.

It can tap the user’s hand in response to phone notifications, be used as a joystick controller, or, with the addition of a little fuzzy sheath accessory, it can turn into a cat tail.




MobiLimb is a research project by PhD student Marc Teyssier and his team across from French universities. Teyssier shares more process photos on his website as well as a detailed explanation for the project.

In the spirit of human augmentation, which aims at overcoming human body limitations by using robotic devices, our approach aims at overcoming mobile device limitations (static, passive, motionless) by using a robotic limb,” he writes.

There’s definitely an unsettling, creepy way in how it moves. Maybe it’s the way it drags its lifeless phone-body across the table to let you know you have a new message.

Or maybe it’s the human flesh cover for the finger that turns it into a dismembered digit? I can’t quite place my MobiLimb on it.

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TSA Outlines Its Plans For Facial Recognition On Domestic Flights

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is determined to make facial recognition and other biometrics a regular part of the airport experience, and it now has a roadmap for that expansion.

The effort will start by teaming with Customs and Border Protection on biometric security for international travel, followed by putting the technology into use for TSA Precheck travelers to speed up their boarding process.

After that, it would both devise an “opt-in” biometric system for ordinary domestic passengers and flesh out a deeper infrastructure.




While this will include technology like fingerprint readers (primarily for trusted passengers), face identification will remain the “primary means” of verifying identities, the TSA said. As such, you can expect facial recognition to play a major role.

To some extent, the roadmap is already in progress. You can find the TSA testing fingerprint technology for Precheck users in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, while Delta is poised to deploy a facial recognition terminal at the same location later in October.

The Administration’s roadmap sets far loftier goals, though. It sees facial recognition and other biometrics reducing the need for “high friction” documents like passports in addition to bolstering security.

There’s no firm timeline, however, and the roadmap only hints at addressing ethical issues like privacy in later studies.

That may prove to be one of the central obstacles to a wider implementation. How will the TSA ensure that face data isn’t misused or falls into the wrong hands, for instance?

And will it do enough to prevent false positives that would ensnare innocent people? Until the TSA addresses issues like those, its dreams of widespread biometrics might not become real.

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How to Check If Your Facebook Account Got Hacked

At the end of last month, Facebook made a bombshell disclosure: As many as 90 million of its users may have had their so-called access tokens—which keep you logged into your account, so you don’t have to sign in every time—stolen by hackers.

Last Friday, the company put the actual number at 30 million. Here’s how to see if you were one of them, and if so, what the hackers got from your account.

There might understandably be some confusion around the matter; a few weeks ago, Facebook logged out 90 million of its users out of an abundance of caution, making them reset their passwords and negating the access token hack.

Over the next few days, Facebook will insert a customized message into the News Feeds of the 30 million people whose accounts were actually impacted, based on the extent of the damage.

People’s accounts have already been secured by the action we took two weeks ago to reset the access tokens for people who were potentially exposed—no one needs to log out again, and no one needs to change their password,” says Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management.

We’ll be explaining what information the attackers may have accessed as well as steps they can take to help protect themselves from any suspicious emails or text messages or calls that could potentially result from this kind of information being exposed.

If you don’t want to wait for the message to hit your News Feed to find out if you’re okay, go ahead and see if you were among those hit at this page.

Scroll past the background paragraph, and you’ll see a header that reads Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?




From there, you’ll see one of three outcomes. If it says that based on what Facebook knows so far, you’re not impacted, you should be in the clear pending any revelations.

The company says that one million of the 30 million people who had their access tokens stolen didn’t have any of their data comprised.

The remaining 29 million users will see one of two messages, depending on the extent of the damage. Fifteen million of them had their name, email addresses, and phone number accessed by hackers.

While that’s not ideal by any accounting, the remaining 14 million Facebook users are left with a much worse result.

In addition to the basic contact information above, the list of details hackers accessed is long: username, date of birth, gender, devices you used Facebook on, and your language settings, at the very least.

If you filled out the relationship status, religion, hometown, current city, work, education, or website sections of your profile, they got that too.

And most unsettling of all, they could have accessed the 10 most recent locations you checked into or were tagged in, and the 15 most recent searches you’ve entered into the Facebook search bar.

Facebook says they’ve seen no signs yet that attackers used its access tokens to infiltrate third-party apps and services, as was technically possible.

And it maintains that no account passwords or credit card information was compromised. But the amount of information, and its sensitive nature, should be a boon to phishers and scammers for years to come.

You can change your password or cancel a credit card. Your hometown will always be just that. And where you’ve been and whom you’ve searched for are deeply personal parts of your life, both online and in the real world.

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LG Says Screw Everything, We’re Doing Five Cameras For Our New Smartphone

The most awaited smartphone LG V40 ThinQ with 5 cameras is launched today by LG Electronics. LG is back with its most desired V series ultimate device LG V40 ThinQ which has great 6.4-inch OLED FullVision display.

Powered with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile platform with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB or 128GB internal storage.

LG V40 is all set to stand out the crowd as it has rear camera module with three lenses 16 MP super wide camera angle 12 MP standard angle and 12 MP telephoto.

All of these three lenses allow shutterbugs to frame different shots without changing positions, it has 107 degrees super wide angle lens which captures subjects and background with ease.

LG V40 is all set to stand out the crowd as it has rear camera module with three lenses 16 MP super wide camera angle 12 MP standard angle and 12 MP telephoto.

All of these three lenses allow shutterbugs to frame different shots without changing positions, it has 107 degrees super wide angle lens which captures subjects and background with ease.




Phase Detection Auto Focus gives 50 percent faster and twice as per industry rate focusing.

LG knew if it improves the camera quality and features it will empower the device to dominate the market with such amazing features like Cine shots, 3D light effect, Makeup Pro, Custom backdrop, My avatar, and AR Emoji.

LG V40 ThinQ is the first LG phone which has Audio Tuned By Meridian label with 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and produces a balanced sound that sounds close to an original quality.

This device has a silky blast process with tempered glass back, a microscopic pit with a smooth matte finish, comes in some sophisticated colors like Aurora Black, New Platinum Gray, New Moroccan Blue, Carmine Red.

LG V40 continues with the slim and light design weighing only 168 g and 7.7mm in thickness, with 3300 mAh battery, runs on Android 8.1 Oreo, connectivity Wi-Fi 802, Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, NFC, USB Type-C 2.0 C3.1 compatible.

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According To A Report, Apple And Government Contractors Were Hacked Using Tiny Chinese Chips

 

Apple, Amazon, and government contractors were all hacked by China, according to a report from Bloomberg Business Week.

Though no consumer data is thought to have been stolen, China allegedly leveraged tiny microchips as part of the hack, which targeted trade secrets and other intellectual property of American companies.

The chips used in the alleged attack were the size of a pencil head, and were reportedly added to Supermicro server motherboards purchased and used by Amazon Web Services and Apple.

This moved past typical software-based hacks, as the chips had networking, memory, and processing power, and looked like signal-conditioning couplers.

In Supermicro, China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for what U.S. officials now describe as the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies,” the original report explains.

Apple is officially denying the report and any claims that it worked with the FBI on an investigation in 2015.  In a statement, the company said it never found the chips and believes in being transparent.




Amazon had a similar tone, saying it “found no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications.

The company also denies notifying authorities and notes that is “untrue that [Amazon] knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications.”

Supermicro also denies being involved, and says it was unaware of any government investigation.

Supermicro, which is a small server component manufacturer in China, instead echoed claims about defending cybersecurity: “Supermicro doesn’t design or manufacture networking chips or the associated firmware and we, as well as other leading server/storage companies, procure them from the same leading networking companies.

According to the report, the chips were apparently inserted at some point in the production chain by operatives from the People’s Liberation Army, better known as the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China.

This could lead to companies shifting manufacturing out of China, doubling down on concerns over the Trump administration’s trade tariffs and their effect on the supply chain of computer and other electronic components.

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Dark Mode And A Preview Of The Mac’s Future

The latest operating system update for Mac includes Dark Mode.

If you own an iPhone, there’s good reason to look forward to the new version of iOS every year.

It usually comes with meaningful improvements to the interface, useful new apps and features — like this year’s Screen Time option that monitors how much you use your apps — and even the occasional performance improvements.

But if you’ve owned a Mac in recent years, there’s been little reason to get excited for new releases of macOS.

Some hidden corner of the operating system might get a new feature, a sharp edge or two will be rounded out, and maybe another feature from iOS will appear on the desktop.

macOS Mojave, the new version coming out today, is a prototypically 2010s macOS release: filled with minor improvements, some additions from iOS, and little to praise or complain about.

I like it, and I think there are things that make it worth installing. But more than ever, it has me wondering: where is this platform going?

There are some changes inside Mojave that start to answer that Big Question. But in day-to-day use, they’re not actually fun or helpful updates, so I’m going to dive into those first.




Among the things that do affect your day-to-day use are some real crowd-pleasers. First and foremost: there’s finally a dark mode.

I don’t know what it is that gets people going about dark modes, but everyone loves them. So including one in macOS has long been a popular request and low-hanging fruit for Apple.

This year, Apple’s finally done it. You’ll be asked on startup whether you want to go with light or dark mode, and you’ll even be given a wallpaper to match.

Dark mode is not going to change the way you use your computer. And because developers need to add support to all of their apps, it won’t even work everywhere yet.

Take note: the Voice Memos app is now on the Mac.

But there’s really nothing bad I can say about it. If you’ve been waiting for it, it’s here. I think the biggest quality-of-life improvement in Mojave is directly on the desktop.

Apple has a new idea about how organizing files should work, and it’s actually really handy for keeping your desktop from turning into a complete mess.

The feature, called Desktop Stacks, automatically groups items on your desktop into “stacks” (basically fancy folders) of similar types of things.

So one stack collects images, another collects screenshots, another collects PDFs, and so on.

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How To Prevent Your Computer From Overheating (And Why It’s Important)

Keeping your computer running within safe temperatures is important, especially as the temperature rises outside. Here’s how to make sure your computer’s not overheating—and how to fix it if it is.

The cooling system of your computer is one of the most important features of the device.

Without the cooling system, the electrical components of your computer wouldn’t be able to function; overheating would damage the integral parts of what makes your computer work.

The heat has to be dissipated in order to keep everything working within safe operating temperatures.

Why an Overheated Computer Is Dangerous

Simply put, if your computer becomes too hot, it is possible to destroy and shorten the lifespan of the hardware inside your computer, leading to irreparable damage and potential data loss.

Besides losing your data, heat pecks away at your computer’s internal organs—the motherboard, CPU, and more—significantly shortening its lifespan.




Besides the most obvious reason to keep your computer cool, a hot computer will also run slower than a cooler computer.

So to prevent your computer from slowing down, make sure that it is running at a moderate or low temperature.

What Temperature Should My Computer Be Running At?

Because of the different types of computer makes and models out there, the safe temperature range your computer should run at varies.

The safe operating range depends on things like processor type, manufacturer, and other factors that make it impossible to give an answer that applies to all CPUs.

How to Check the Temperature of Your PC

Sticking your hand over your computer’s ventilation system or case isn’t an accurate way to judge how hot your computer is running.

So how do you determine how hot your system’s running? You’ve got a few options.

To check the computer’s temperature without additional software, you can check your system BIOS. Restart your computer, and on the boot screen, you should have an option to press a key (often Delete) to enter the BIOS.

Once you enter Setup, navigate the BIOS menu using the on-screen instructions. You should be able to find a menu that deals with the computer’s hardware monitors and CPU.

 

There should be a field that lists your CPU temperature. Rather not restart your computer to check the temp?

We don’t blame you. Plenty of system monitoring tools can give you a temperature read-out, like free Windows program HWMonitor, which displays the temperature of the CPU, each of the computer’s cores, video card, hard drives, along with the minimum and maximum values of each temperature.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to make sure that your hardware is supported because the program can only read certain sensors.

We’ve featured several system monitoring options in the past that can also handle these duties, like the cross-platform, previously mentioned GKrellM (Windows/Mac/Linux), system-tray friendly app Real Temp, Core Temp, and SpeedFan.

SpeedFan has the added bonus of being able to show how fast each fan is spinning, complete with RPM readings.

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Rolls-Royce Reveals Its New Phantom: ‘The Most Silent Car In The World’

Rolls-Royce revealed its new £350,000 Phantom in London tonight – describing it as ‘the most silent motor car in the world’

Whisper it softly, but the quietest and most technically advanced Rolls-Royce Phantom ever was launched in London tonight.

The flagship Rolls-Royce is designed to whisk the world’s wealthiest around in near silence and the lap of luxury – and it comes with its own dashboard art gallery for those who can afford the £350,000 price tag.

The new Phantom even paves the way for a future all-electric Rolls-Royce, ready to comply with Government moves to ban the sale of new ‘conventional’ petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040.




On the basis that silence is golden and the new Phantom limousine is ‘a work of art’, Rolls-Royce say their new Phantom is ‘the most silent motor car in the world’ and the quietest Rolls-Royce ever made –at least for the pampered chauffeur-driven occupant in the back.

The launch was hailed as another big vote of confidence in Britain – with the big Roller exported around the globe and considered the pinnacle of British automotive craftsmanship

The new Phantom even paves the way for a future all-electric Rolls-Royce, ready to comply with Government moves to ban the sale of new ‘conventional’ petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040

Bosses at Rolls-Royce’s parent company BMW – which earlier this week announced they were building an electric Mini in the UK – said the new Phantom demonstrated that they remain ‘fully committed to the future of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’, based at Goodwood, in West Sussex.

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The World’s Most Notorious Data Breaches

It’s tempting to believe that important data breaches only happen in the US and the figures tend to bear that out – the US accounts for the overwhelming majority of the really big data breaches that have been made public, some of them absolutely vast.

But US laws and regulations force organisations to admit to data breaches involving the customer, something which is not true in all countries.

In the UK, the most important piece of legislation organisations must worry about was the Data Protection Act and the possibility of fines by the information commissioner (ICO).

Now, with the General Data Protection Regulation in full force across the EU, businesses found not to have adequately disclosed breaches or protected their users face enormous fines.

With credentials being bought and sold on the dark web for serious money, significant breaches – often in the millions, and sometimes including card data – seem to be more and more commonplace.




Below we offer what we believe are the most significant data breaches to hit the globe, not in all cases because they were particularly large but because of the type of attack or vulnerability involved or the sensitivity of the data compromised.

This list is in chronological order.

British Airways

A technologically challenged summer for BA continued with a data breach affecting 380,000 transactions, involving stolen personal and financial information, but not passport or flight details.

The data was compromised over a two-week period between 21 August and 5 September, during which a ‘sophisticated‘ attack was carried out on both the company’s website and app.

At present, the Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating the breach and has suggested the airline could face a fine.

T-Mobile

As many as 2 million T-Mobile customers based in the US may have had their account details compromised by hackers who got away with names, email addresses, account numbers, billing information and encrypted passwords – but the company did not disclose what these passwords were hashed with.

T-Mobile said in an announcement that there was an “unauthorised capture of some information“. Motherboard later confirmed that encrypted passwords were compromised as well.

Apparently company servers were breached through an API, by a group described as “international”.

However, the spokesperson told Motherboard that the intrusion was detected on the same day, where it was “shut down very fast“.

Reddit

The ICO has confirmed it will be looking into a data breach at content aggregator Reddit.

A spokesperson told Techworld: “We are aware of an issue concerning Reddit and will be looking to ascertain the scale and extent of any potential impact on UK citizens.

Content aggregator site Reddit – which calls itself the ‘front page of the internet’ and has more active users than Twitter, with over 540 million monthly visits – has suffered a data breach and is refusing to disclose the scale.

A complete copy of an old database backup containing early Reddit data from 2005 to May 2007 was stolen, including username and hashed passwords, email addresses, and content, including private messages.

Reddit will be messaging affected users.

FedEx

A subsidiary of delivery and logistics multinational FedEx has stored extremely sensitive customer data on an open Amazon S3 bucket, essentially making all the information public.

The tranche of data was discovered by Kromtech security researchers on 5 February.

The culprit looks like it was a company called Bongo International LLC, a package-forwarding business set up to make buying American goods easier for global customers, which was bought by FedEx in 2014.

It included thousands of scanned documents for citizens in America and globally – with passports, driving licences and security IDs all open for access in the bucket, as well as home addresses, postal codes and phone numbers.

Researchers pointed out that the data seems to have been from 2009 to 2012, before the company was bought out.

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How Google Will Use High-Flying Balloons To Deliver Internet To The Hinterlands

Project Loon sails through the stratosphere, where there are different wind layers.

Using wind data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the balloons are maneuvered by identifying the wind layer with the desired speed and direction and then adjusting altitude to float in that layer.




The Project Loon team prepared for launch in the pre-dawn frost near Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

Solar panels and insulated electronics packages, prepared for launch. It takes 4 hours for the solar panels to charge the battery during the day, and that power is sufficient to keep all the flight systems working 24 hours a day.

A fully-inflated balloon envelope at Moffett Field, California. The balloons are 15m in diameter when fully inflated, but they do not inflate until they’ve reached float altitude in the stratosphere.

Project Loon team members Paul Acosta and Peter Capraro placed red balloons near the launch site at sunrise. The balloons were used as a rough indicator of wind direction and speed just above ground level.

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