Father and Son Develop Service Which Offers Multiple Language Support in a Single Video

Sometimes it is frustrating to watch a foreign film, especially when you have to read between the lines and make sense of a minimally translated dialog. A father and son thought about it and came to the same conclusion, so they went on developing a piece of software which will change all this.

The software resulted is called Alugha, which translated from Swahili means ‘one language’, having the software currently be in beta. Bern and Nikolas Korz, the people behind the software, are working to achieve native-language translation of movies, available within the original file, helping viewers concentrate more on the movie’s action. The idea behind Alugha was born when Bern was doing videos on YouTube and his own Channel, at which point he was asked to translate them in English. He later found out that the process was hard and time-consuming, therefore another alternative needed to be found. While searching for some piece of software to translate his movies, he found out that there was nothing of the sort available.

Bernd and his son Nikolas then set out to solve the problem at hand and came up with the current software, Alugha, concentrating at first on YouTube. The piece of software comes under the shape of an extension for all browsers. Furthermore, with the help of their HTML5 player, users can embed their own videos without the need of using the YouTube service. Producers can create and upload audio files in any language to the Alugha servers, having them connect to the same video on the back-end. Also, description and titles are translated to help viewers read them in their own language without the need of third-party software.

Alugha accepts audio files limited to 20 MB, having users restricted to upload them under the MP3 or WebM format. The audio file specs have been set to 160 Kbit/s or 190 Kbit/s rates for MP3 or full HD rates for WebM formats. Users can choose to switch languages in real-time, even when the video is playing, and Korz seen the piece of software a benefit to motion pictures, games, trailers, speeches and product demos. Having support only for YouTube at the moment, it is said that popular platforms such as Facebook and Vimeo are considered in the future, as well as support for iOS, Android and Windows Phone applications.


In terms of language support, Alugha features most registered ISO-638-3 languages, focusing on the 50 most popular ones. Korz adds his opinion towards Alugha, stating it is a ‘massive energy saving’ piece of software when producing a movie, giving the option to attach different language tracks and increasing traffic to a single video while adding additional benefits to those using AdSense and Advertisements in their videos.

Alugha is said to come out of beta in August, bearing various extensions and a download section on the product’s website with links to different platforms and browsers. The software will have a free scheme for producers, providing the most basic support, with additional charges for those who want more features.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information
Images and video courtesy of TheNextWeb

Cheap 3D Food to Help Bring Delicious Meals in Nursing Homes

People who have been in a nursing home and inside the cafeteria will know that eating is one of the most difficult activities for an elderly person. They are most probably being served food which is easy to chew, such as puree and mashed food, but in most cases this comes at the expense of taste. However, a German company by the name of Biozoon Smoothfood is seeking to change the way elderly people eat and aims to bring some taste to their meals by using 3D-printed, easy-to-chew food.

THe company states that it is using liquified ingredients such as vegetables, meat, carbs and others instead of ink or PLA which a 3D printer would normally use. The ingredients then are inserted into the printer’s cartridge and come out as food which ‘melts in your mouth’, thanks to a binding agent. Bizoon currently makes six types of food, namely peas, pork, chicken, cauliflower, pasta and potatoes, but the company states they will add more diversity in the future.

Given that is a 3D printer, the food can be made in any shape dictated by the software. However, nobody wants to eat for example meat in the shape of fruit, therefore the company makes the food in the shape of its food items. Currently, the food is made off-site, but Bizoon plans to place printers directly inside nursing homes in the future since it makes it more practical and at hand to serve the food as soon as it is made.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Gizmodo

Heartbleed is Back, This Time Affecting WiFi Routers And Jelly Bean Android Devices

The heartbleed bug is back and this time it’s a different for of monster. The new variant of heartbleed is being dubbed “Cupid” by the security researcher who discovered it, Luis Grangeia. The “Cupid” bug can be used to launch heartbleed style attacks but this time on WiFi based routers (instead of the open web) and Android Jelly Bean devices connected to those routers. The bug allows hackers to target certain routers that are EAP based routers (e.g. require an individual logon and password, such as WiFi routers) by pulling the private security keys effectively bypassing any security measures. From this position the hackers could even view snippets of the working memory of the targeted devices potentially exposing user credentials, client certificates and private keys. The damage from this variant of heartbleed will apparently be much more contained than the first variant, however, it still isn’t known how many devices and routers are currently vulnerable to the attack. Any Android devices running 4.1.1 Jelly Bean are particularly vulnerable and if possible those users are encouraged to upgrade. Check out the technical details at the two source links.

Source: Luis Grangeia (#1 #2), Via: The Verge

Image courtesy of PCMag.com

Patent Royalties Getting Out of Hand: Could Exceed $120 Per Smartphone

Anyone who follows smartphones will know that the rise of patent wars, patent trolls and massive battles over intellectual property has already started to get out of hand – you only have to look to the endless lawsuits between Apple and Samsung to see that. However, to paraphrase the latest report in some London slang “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. The latest report, which is a working paper by an Intel in-house counsel and two Wilmer Hale lawyers, suggests that the licensing cost of patents and intellectual property per smartphone is rising rapidly. The term “Royalty Stacking” is used to describe the way in which the cumulative cost of patent licenses is growing so high per device that it is increasingly unprofitable to produce smartphones. The estimates suggest we could observe up to $120 patent licensing costs on a $400 smartphone, which equals the costs of the components! The conclusion is that “those costs may be undermining industry profitability–and, in turn, diminishing incentives to invest and compete”. Of course this is a hypothetical study based on industry document analysis, so this is not what is actually happening right now. However, the potential is there: if all potential royalty demands end up being converted into royalty payments then the price of smartphones could continue to soar and as a result the industry could be brought to its knees by a generation of “patent trolling” and patent wars. Check out a detailed analysis of the working paper below at Foss Patents or check out the actual working paper at the source link.

Source: Wilmer Hale (Working Paper), Via Foss Patents

Image courtesy of Ideas2Market Blog

Solar Roadways Project Smashes Crowdfunding Records, Raised $1.7 Million And Rising

Every now and then an Indiegogo project comes along which really captures the public imagination and this latest project is a great example of that. The Solar Roadways project seeks to replace roads, pavements, parking lots, tarmac and other traversable surfaces with hexagonal solar panels that connect together to form a replacement surface. These solar panels boast an impressive range of features such as having built in microprocessors which provide health status updates on whether a particular hexagonal unit needs replacing and an interlocking design with state of the art tempered glass that is able to meet the impact, load and traction requirements of road surfaces. Of course the best part about them is quite obvious – they generate electricity which allows them to pay for themselves and potentially lower the cost of electricity in the areas where they are deployed (expect fierce resistance from utility companies). For areas that experience snowfall and regular road freezing the solar panels are able to use the energy generated by the solar panels to melt the ice cover using a built in heating element which on its own has the potential to save every country billions in lost working hours, less insurance claims and so on. Every solar panel also has built in LEDs which means it can change road markings at any time to move lanes around, change speed limits, remove or add extra cycling lanes and more! No more road resurfacing, no more lane repainting, no more road salting! It doesn’t just stop there, the built in pressure sensitivity also means the roads are capable of identifying and warning drivers of obstructions, and the roads also carry electricity lines, fibre optic internet cables (removing the need for telephone lines) and have a built in channel to move flood and storm waters. Wait there’s more….but I’ll be here forever explaining to be sure to check out the video below for the full run-down on this great new technology:


Be sure to check out the Indiegogo project page for more details.

Source: Indiegogo

Image courtesy of Solar Roadways

Google Exposes Slow ISPs With YouTube Video Quality Report

Ever wondered why your YouTube playback is so slow? It could be that you have a low speed broadband package, a really weak WiFi signal or a slow computer. However, these days with the advent of cheap fibre optic broadband and a tendency among ISPs to throttle certain traffic it seems infinitely more likely to be your ISP. Enter Google who have released their YouTube video quality report which reveals the results for your ISP in YouTube playback. Google is able to name and shame those ISPs who are incapable of providing a good YouTube experience. Currently the program seems to only be running for American ISPs but Google is planning an expansion of the program to other areas in the near future. You simply need to visit the mini website here  and click the “Your Results” tab, Google will then calculate your results based on data from your ISP and other people in your area. The results should tell you whether your ISP is capable of YouTube playback and at what resolutions (SD, HD etc). If your ISP is not capable of those higher resolutions then they are probably throttling YouTube traffic or have a lack of capacity (e.g. have taken on too many customers for capability of their network infrastructure). Feel free to share your results below!


Source: Google

Image courtesy of Google

Internet Speed Might Increase Thanks to New ‘Teleportation’ Technology

People always thought about teleportation as a way of beaming beings or objects from one point in space and time to another. And the technology might even be achievable in the near future, according to professor Ronald Hanson from Delft University of Technology in Netherlands. But there might be a way to use the ‘teleportation’ method in other areas as well.

Hanson states that there is no law of physics preventing teleportation of large objects and humans alike. And that goes for teleporting information as well. In an experiment at the university, he was able to transport information encapsulated into subatomic particles between two targets situated three meters apart, having it be a success with 100% reliability.

During this experiment, four possible states are reported to have been transmitted. Each of the states related to a qubit, having it be the quantum equivalent of a digital bit. His next experiment now involves teleporting information between buildings in the university campus situated 1.3 km apart.

Though the technology is still in its early stages, it could revolutionise the way internet is delivered nowadays, having two notable major advantages. The first advantage is obviously incredibly high-speed connection and the second is network security, since information cannot be intercepted while travelling.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

Galaxy Launches 6 GB Variant of its GeForce GTX 780 Hall Of Fame Edition Graphics Card

Galaxy has just launched another NVIDIA variant of GeForce GTX 780 Hall of Fame graphics card, bearing the GF-GTX780-E6GHD/SOC model name, featuring the company’s white PCB signature and performance-oriented cooling solution.

In terms of specifications, the card comes with 6 GB if memory, having the rest be similar to the original Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 HOF Edition released in July last year. The 6 GB variant also comes with a big factory overclock, having the core GPU clocked at 1019 MHz compared to the original variant clocked at 863 MHz and its boost speed capped at 1071 MHz compared to 928 MHz from its predecessor.

The GDDR5 memory apparent has been left untouched, having it clocked at 6008 MHz as the original Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 HOF. Other aspects of the 6 GB GTX 780 HOF variant include the 28 nm GK110 silicon architecture, offering 2,304 CUDA cores, 192 TMUs, 48 ROPs and a 384-bit memory interface. The graphics card also features a 10-phase VRM, drawing power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

The graphics card is said to feature a dual-BIOS configuration as well, having the toggle switch located near the I/O bracket. The card offers four display outputs, having two dual-link DVI, one HDMI and one Display Port configuration, while its cooling solution features a Hybrid Vapor Chamber which directs heat to a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink with the help of four nickel-palter copper heat pipes. The heatsink is then ventilated by a pair of 90mm fans, having the base-plate with heatsink fins cooling the VRM and memory.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechPowerUp

iPhone and Android Compatible Windows Smartwatch Rumored to be in Production

Apple, Samsung and other manufacturers to have announced their production of smartwatches may have yet another strong competitor coming at a rapid pace. According to Forbes, Microsoft is attempting to make its way into the wearable market with its own smartwatch gadget and rumours are that it will not be exclusive for Windows-powered handsets.

Microsoft is allegedly attempting to make its smartwatch compatible with both iPhone and Android devices alongside its own Windows Phone operating system. The gadget is said to come with a rich sensor combination,including heart rate monitoring.

The team behind some of its concept is rumoured to be the Microsoft Xbox Kinect division, which makes sense given the gadget’s required functions. Also, compared to other manufacturers, Microsoft plans to implement a continuous heart rate monitor, giving constant feedback on the gathered information.

The smartwatch is said to have a battery life of two days, which is not too bad given the fact that Samsung’s Gear Fit has a similar battery life as well. In terms of design, the smartwatch is rumoured to have the same aspect as the Galaxy Fit and feature a full-color touchscreen, having its size estimated to be around half a stick of gum.

More details about the smartwatch are unclear at the moment, but this bald move might have a big impact for Microsoft, having yet another product which could work on rival platforms.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Softpedia

Breaking News: Motorola Mobility Factory In Texas Closing Down

In recent months we have been hearing news at how Motorola’s Texas factory has been seeing a slow decline in profitably, particularly since sales of the Moto X and the Moto Maker scheme have not been as strong as once perceived. Due to its location in the US, the factory has been able to offer a customisation scheme to US customers, where they can make personal alterations to their handset, including the use of different materials and specifications. Sadly though the Moto Maker scheme and the number of Moto X handsets sold in the US have not been doing that well and from a once packed manufacturing plant, the Google owned property now employs little over 700 people – a sign in itself that times are changing and the time was ticking before a major change was going to happen.

The suspicion that the site’s days were numbered was only made more certain after the word early this year got out the Lenovo were looking to take over the Motorola Mobility division from Google and considering the fact that the site is barely turning a profit, it is easy to understand why such a move would be on the cards. Even though the site’s days are effectively numbered, with the closure likely to happen at the end of this year, production of the Moto X handset will continue at two other factories in China and Taiwan; where manufacturing costs are considerably lower than in the US.

Motorola has made a statement saying that the Moto Maker service will continue to be a pre-purchase service to customers, however there are no further details on how the service will continue to run and where it will be made available.

Source: Tech Geek Forever

Hacking Victim Offers $20,000 Bounty To Catch His Assailant

Getting hacked sucks, especially when your hackers then demand a ransom from you to not sell the information they obtained by hacking you. That’s exactly what happened to Roger Ver, a millionaire trader with a significant investment in Bitcoins. A hacker going by the name of “Nitrous” hacked into one of Ver’s old Hotmail accounts and was able to obtain a variety of his personal details including his social security number. The hacker threatened to exploit and sell such information unless a ransom of 37 bitcoins, about $20,000, was paid. Roger Ver, also known as “the Bitcoin Jesus”, wasn’t prepared to sit back and let that happen so he offered a $20,000 bounty to catch the hacker. He then spread this bounty all over Facebook to maximise the publicity of his situation. Lo and behold the hacker almost immediately backed down claiming he was just a middleman working for someone else. After entering a panic the hacker even asked Roger Ver “Are you going to order a hitman to kill me now?”. While the hacker has yet to be caught, the incident has been reported to the police so only time will tell if the hacker can be tracked down and brought to justice.

Source: Sky News

Image courtesy of the Verge

3D Printing For Just $250! Latest 3D Printing Crowdfunding Campaign Is Launched

3D Printing has captured the public imagination so it probably isn’t surprising when I tell you that a new $250 3D Printer reached its crowd funding target in less than 2 days. New Matter’s MOD-t 3D printer reached its $375,000 target on Indiegogo in under 2 days as the printer packages were snapped up like hot cakes. The first 500 units went for $149, the next 1000 for $199 and now the price is starting at $249 with an unlimited number available for purchase. The concept is simple: a low cost end-to-end 3D printer with complementary software and a store full of 3D Printable designs from just $249.

“Our printer (the MOD-t) uses an ingenious 2-axis motion system that simultaneously moves and supports the build plate with very few components. Translation: It’s breakthrough technology, it prints more consistently, and it makes the printer way cheaper.” States the Indiegogo campaign page.

It won’t just be a 3D Printer, the team at New Matter are also looking to build a community around their 3D Printer. A store where people can share and download designs specifically tailored for the MOD-t printer, in addition consumers can sell their own designs through the New Matter store and earn some money from doing so. The first units are expected to ship to consumers from early 2015 starting with the early backers first.

Source: Indiegogo

Images courtesy of New Matter

Who Needs Fillings When You Can Regrow Your Teeth With Lasers!?

It looks like fillings could well become a thing of the past if the latest research is anything to go by. A team of scientists from Harvard published a study in the Journal of Science Translational Medicine showing ground-breaking results in tooth regrowth procedures. The research involved using a low-power laser beam to trigger human dental stem cell growth and encourage them to form dentin, which is the substance below the tooth enamel that forms the bulk of a tooth’s mass. The research is important because it is one of those rare occasions where scientists have actually been able to control and manipulate stem cells into doing something they actually want them to do. This new laser technique is apparently much faster and less invasive than previous tooth regrowth techniques and has been proven to work under several different lab and animal testing scenarios. Check out all the “scientific” details at the source.

Source: Harvard, Via: DigitalTrends

Image courtesy of kenbeadlingdentistry.com

Rumour: Intel Devil’s Canyon Will Be Z87 Compatible

Devil’s Canyon is the apparent codename for Intel’s newest unlocked K series CPUs that will probably be released on or around Computex 2014 in June according to widely circulated rumours. Devil’s Canyon is expected to include a Core i7 4790K and a Core i5 4690K both of which are supposedly based on Haswell architecture and part of “Haswell Refresh” series from which we’ve already seen a few locked CPUs released. We’ve heard from a lot of sources that there will not be backwards compatibility of Devil’s Canyon CPUs with 8 series motherboards (Z87, Z85, H87, H81, B85, Q87, Q85 etc) because of some hardware level changes in the CPU design such as the way power is delivered.However, one source reports that this is simply not the case and Devil’s Canyon will be compatible with 8 series motherboards.

The lack of compatibility is apparently just a formal thing because the specification of the TDPs do not match up between the revised LGA 1150 socket spec on 9 series and the LGA 1150 8 series socket spec. Therefore Intel is obliged to state incompatibility between 8 series and Devil’s Canyon. However, the difference is a mere 4 watts and apparently motherboard vendors are already validating Devil’s Canyon CPUs in existing 8 series motherboards to great success. Devil’s Canyon is still a fourth generation processor design so Broadwell might still be incompatible with 8 series motherboards even if Devil’s Canyon is compatible. However, this latest development does also call that rumour into question as well.

Source: Hardware.fr

Image courtesy of Hardware.fr

Huawei Successfully Tests Next-Gen10 Gbps WiFi, Commercially Ready In 2018

According to reports Huawei have been successfully testing next generation Wi-Fi service capable of a staggering 10 Gbps – that’s equivalent to first generation Thunderbolt, twice the throughput of USB 3.0 and the same as the current M.2 (NGFF) and SATA Express interfaces. The tests were performed in the company’s labs in Shenzen, China. The new prototype WiFi achieved a transfer rate of 10.53 Gbps on the 5GHz frequency band and Huawei says that the technology will reach the mainstream within the next 5 years, likely in 2018.

“The success of this prototype development, and the ten folds increase in spectrum efficiency that made it possible, paves the way for the validation of technologies needed to support the creation of next generation Wi-Fi. Huawei believes that ultrafast Wi-Fi could become commercially available from 2018 pending the agreement of global standards requirements and sufficient chipset availability.” Stated Huawei in a press release.

Huawei started development of this next generation WiFi technology way back in 2010. The focus of the research has been on driving higher data rates through wideband radio and baseband processing. Technologies such as MIMO-OFDA, intelligence spectrum allocation, interference coordination and hybrid access allow for the new speeds to be reached. Next generation WiFi services will increase efficiency and reduce latency of current WiFi networks.

Source: Tech2

Image courtesy of Huawei

InWin D-Frame Mini Revealed at Computex 2014

InWin look set to take the chassis market by storm once again with the release of their latest chassis, the D-Frame mini. The D Frame is already a pretty incredible chassis, but it was a limited edition product, unlike its new, smaller brother which will be available as a mass produced product.

Aimed at the enthusiast LAN gaming market, the chassis features a handle on the top, meaning you can pick it up and easily transport it. It’s smaller and lighter than the original D-Frame, but still has plenty of room for a great gaming system.

With support for mini-ITX motherboards, 3.5″ or 2.5″ x 3, 2.5″ x 2 hard drives, USB 3.0 and HD audio connections, room for ATX PSU’s of up to 220mm, a dual slot PCI card, and best of all it’s open air design will support two 120mm fans in the base or a 240mm water cooling unit.

The whole thing has been constructed using a combination of aluminium pipes, metal plate and gorgeous tempered glass that will be ideal for those who love to show off their build.

Price will be $349.99 and will be available at retail at the end of Computex 2014. The price is high, but we’ve had a quick play around with the chassis and the build quality and materials used are second to none, so you can expect to get what you pay for.

We hope to have a sample in the office very soon and we look forward to telling you even more about the very cool new chassis.

CryEngine Now Available To Everyone With Monthly Subscription

CryTek is apparently looking to take the same approach as Epic Games did this year, making their Unreal Engine 4 available on the market to everyone from casual game developers to professionals with an affordable monthly subscription method.

The company is making CryEngine available to anyone willing to register for one of three available subscriptions. The three subscriptions consist of a $9.90 month-to-month model for those who are testing out its features and do not require a monthly work subscription, a $9.00 subscription for a three-month subscription paid upfront, or a $8.30 subscription for professionals and enthusiasts alike who want to sing up for at least a period of six months.

All of the above mentioned subscriptions include full access to the latest CryEngine build, with additional notifications received as soon as new updates are available, in addition to having access to CryEngine-related graphical features and tools. CryEngine will be available via Valve’s Steam platform and the most important news so far is that there is no royalty cut involved, therefore everything earned using CryEngine will go exclusively to the individual or organisation developing the game.

Having development tools such as Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine is significantly simplifying game development. However, having a tool such as CryEngine will also ensure that everything earned with the game goes solely to the developer, making it one of the best development tools on the market.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Spot

Steam Machines Delayed Until 2015

A lot of rumours had been circulating about the Steam Machines and the latest news regarding the non-Windows powered machines refer to the Steam-based gaming machines being pushed back until 2015.

Some prototypes have been revealed in the past, including the Alienware version powered by NVIDIA. From what is known so far, the machines will run on Steam OS, giving users the ability to run Steam games while having the machine plugged into the living room TV. They also have the option of installing Windows in a dual-boot configuration, having the operating system run on a separate hard drive.

Valve has recently announced that they are going to push back the launch date, having set a 2015 release date. Steam machines are reported to be quite tricky to sell, since we already have PCs and consoles for gaming and other computerised activities. The launch date push might be the sign of Valve attempting to implement new features to the Steam OS or even the machines themselves.

The delay also comes at a rather strange time, since NVIDIA, AMD and even Intel have working drivers for the Linux-based Steam OS. However, it might also indicate the complexity in making the drivers work with all games running in a Linux environment. AMD has also updates its Steam OS drivers to the latest version, namely 14.4, indicating that AMD cards should run without any significant issues.

In addition to the driver releases, reports also indicate that more than a dozen manufacturers have announced their own Steam OS machines. Alienware, GIGABYTE, Origin PC, iBuyPower, Zotac, CyperPowerPC, Maingear and Alternate are just a few of the manufacturers announcing their dedication towards manufacturing Steam OS machines.

AMD might even have an advantage with the current pushback, having more time to prepare their hardware and software for the final release. However, there is also no guarantee that the Steam OS machines will ever be launched, since the concept of the Steam Machine is seen as nothing more than a PC not powered by the Windows operating system.

On the other hand, since users use Windows-powered PCs to surf the web, access their social media applications or use multimedia applications for music and movies, Steam OS machines can offer all of that including gaming without the need to deal with Windows or even pay for the operating system. However, the success of the Steam Machine will remain to be seen.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Kickstarter Projects Aims To Make Voice-Controlled Houses a Reality

There are all sorts of smart devices on the market, giving users the ability to control just about anything in your house and even your car, at least to some extent. However, in most cases, the user experience is not as satisfying as it should be when using the latter devices.

A Kickstarter project is aiming to solve this barrier through a project called Homey. The device bearing the same name is nothing more than an orb measuring 4.3″ in diameter, but the developers hope that it could become the next big thing in terms of smart homes.

Homey is thought to be a device with multiple connectivity inputs, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, ZigBee and Z-Wave, as well as Infrared, which can control almost anything in the house with the help of voice commands. Homey is connected to a Raspberry Pi Computer Module, running on custom software, and also features a companion app for iOS and Android devices, which grants users the ability to easily customise Homey’s settings. The device is also designed to give visual feedbacks on commands with the help of its multi-coloured LED ring placed in the middle.

Emile Nijssen, the creator of Homey, has been inspired by the Star Trek series when designing the device at hand, having users relying ultimately on voice in order to control their home. In addition to the above, Homey gives developers the opportunity to build applications which are then published to the device’s Labs section.

The project is hoping to raise €100,000 through crowdfunding on Kickstarter in order to begin production. The current estimated amount raised is €95,000 and there is no doubt about the project being funded. The lowest amount which individuals can pledge for a Homey device is reported to be €229, having its estimated delivery set in June 2015.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Edward Snowden Reveals he was Trained as a Spy and Not an Analyst

After leaking information about NSA activities and other secret plots, Edward Snowden makes another statement to the press. This time around, he reveals his own past relations with the secret service and what he actually did when working for them.

Edward Snowden revealed that he was actually trained to be a spy and not as an analyst. In a press statement he mentions that he had worked undercover for the CIA and NSA in different places around the world while pretending to have an assigned job and even a fake identity. He also admits that the secret service denies these allegations while attempting to use a position is his career to ‘distract’ and hide his true work experience.

Snowden added that he had also worked as a lecturer at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy, where he states to have developed sources and methods for keeping information and people secure in the most hostile and dangerous environments around the world.

Having been charged with espionage and revoking his passport, Edward Snowden hasn’t been able to leave Russia, where he sought refuge. However, he continues to unveil how the US secret service support mass, warrantless surveillance while civil libertarians, technology companies and others oppose it, emphasising the lack of transparency.

Thank you CNN for providing us with this information

Spotify Database Attacked – Users Are Being Urged To Change Passwords

Over the last week or so we’ve been inundated with news stories regarding cyber attacks, where users personal data has been accessed in an unauthorised manner, the most significant of these being the eBay attack which was only announced two months after the attack happened. It seems though that not everyone is getting the message to ensure that their security barriers are in place as Spotify are urging some of their 40 million strong user base to change their passwords following an attack on their databases which was discovered last week.

In addition to changing their passwords, users of the Spotify app on Google’s Android platform are being asked to upgrade their app, where a new and updated version of the app is downloaded and installed separately to the existing installation, which is then to be deleted afterwards.

To date there is only evidence of a single user being affected – of whom has been contacted directly by Spotify to notify them, although they are keen to express that no payment or password information from this users account was compromised.

Spotify’s Chief Technology Officer, Oskar Stal spoke in a blog post about the attack “”We have taken steps to strengthen our security systems in general and help protect you and your data – and we will continue to do so. We will be taking further actions in the coming days to increase security for our users.”

With this being the third attack of similar nature to the eBay and Adobe attacks which have also been discovered recently, hopefully a number of other high-profile sites will get the idea that security is a serious issue and any flaws need to be discovered in-house and repaired before the attackers find them. Since the announcement of Sony’s PSN attacks last year, the security of user’s personal information across the internet has been in the spotlight and we are no asking not when, but who will be next?

Source: Sunday Morning Herald

The eTeknix Guide To Building Your Own NAS System For Under $220


There may be a lot of people like myself who have missed the “NAS bandwagon” and have made do with other fragmented storage solutions up until now: multiple storage drives on different devices (laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones) with the gap being bridged between those multiple devices through space restricted cloud storage (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive) or portable storage (flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards). However, there has to be an easier way to unify all your storage needs – and that’s what today is all about. Like many of our readers I am a technology enthusiast – I like to get hands on with things and do it myself rather than just buying pre-built solutions that often hold a significant price premium. Therefore, what better way than to get involved with the NAS (Network Attached Storage) craze than to build your own! Your own centralised cloud storage, fileserver, storage server, media centre or whatever else you want to do with it – how cool is that? And despite what people may tell you, or even what your own preconceptions are, building a NAS has never been easier. There’s a wealth of affordable hardware out there and more importantly an abundance of free software to help you configure your own NAS setup.

The aim of this guide is quite a simple one – to take you through my personal experiences with building a 6-Bay capable NAS within a strict budget of $220 using FreeNAS. Why $220? Well I wanted to build a 2 disk NAS box capable of streaming media and storing all of my files for the lowest cost possible, but I also want the scope to be able upgrade to 4-6 drives in the future. A quick search on somewhere like Newegg will show you that 4-Bay diskless NAS systems start from $300 and range all the way up to $700, so I wanted to better those NAS systems and do it at a lower cost. I am only a home user (like most of you will be) so I really do not need loads of advanced enterprise features and technologies – I just need a reasonably fast NAS server capable of meeting my storage and media needs. Enter today’s build which I believe meets all of those criteria at a hair under $220. This build was an interesting one as we independently chose all the parts for our NAS guide that we wanted to use and then went to the companies to see if they were interested in sponsoring our build guide. A few weeks of planning later and here we are – so a huge thank you goes out to AMD, ASRock, Kingston Technology, SilverStone Technology and Western Digital for providing the parts to our NAS build guide. At just $220 this diskless NAS has the potential to scale up to six hard drives and offers a variety of RAID configurations as well as support for on-chip transcoding. So without any further ado let’s introduce all the details of our $220 NAS system, we will start by analysing the parts we chose: how much they cost and why we chose them.

Google Reveals Low Employee Diversity: 61% White and 70% Male, Does it Matter?

Google recently released its first employee diversity report and the overall picture is that of low diversity: Google employees are predominantly men and predominantly white or Asian. While Google are currently being significantly criticised across a lot of the media right now for their low diversity the real question we should be ask is: is it even Google’s fault? Naturally diversity is a very touchy subject because it implies racism and sexism when a company is not diverse. It is important to note what this data shows: Google’s diversity. It doesn’t show whether Google is actively discriminating women or non-whites from their industry. The data, shown above, reveals different pictures for different job types. Leadership and tech jobs tend to be the most polarised towards white men, while non-tech jobs (which includes routine tasks like cleaning, catering, secretaries and so on) are more equal and diverse because the qualification barriers to entry are significantly lower.

Google’s Laszlo Bock notes “Women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the United States. Blacks and Hispanics make up under 10 percent of U.S. college grads and collect fewer than 5 percent of degrees in CS majors, respectively”. As a result it is hardly surprising the figures stack up the way they do. Google cannot employ more black, hispanic or female employees if they simply do not exist at a qualified enough level to work for Google. Google disclosing this kind of information is an important first step forward to greater diversity and maybe other technology companies will follow suit. Google have admitted to being “miles from where we want to be” with regards to diversity, but that doesn’t mean they can be held solely responsible for problems that exist within the education system and technology entrepreneurship. 

What are your thoughts on Google’s low diversity?

Source: Google

Image courtesy of Google

Bomb Squad Called In After Ubisoft’s PR Stunt For Watch Dogs Goes “A Bit” Wrong

Sometime’s PR stunts can go wrong, backfire or just generally fall flat on their face – this is nothing new. But what does it really mean for a PR stunt to go wrong? Well whatever it did mean is no more because Ubisoft have redefined what it means for a PR stunt to go wrong. Media employees in tears and the calling in of the Australian New South Wales bomb squad was the result of Ubisofts most recent PR stunt. It started with Ubisoft sending out a “suspicious package” to Ninemsn employees at the Australia Square building in Sydney accompanied by a note stating “check your voicemail”. The package was actually harmless and simply contained a copy of the Watch Dogs game and some merchandise and the package it arrived in was just supposed to be a novel way of presenting the new game to the media company in question. There was of course no voicemail, which was a blunder on behalf of Ubisoft PR, and to top things off the box started making strange noises. This lead to the police being called, the arrival of a bomb disposal unit and all staff being evacuated and sent home by 3pm. The journalist who was supposed to receive the package ended up in tears. Apparently Ubisoft or any of its agencies did not reach out to Ninemsn to inform them the package was coming beforehand, even though they had planned to as part of the stunt. Ubisoft commented on the PR car-crash stating that:

“As part of a themed promotion for Watch Dogs, our team in Australia sent voicemail messages to some local media alerting them that they’d receive a special package related to the game. Unfortunately, the delivery to Ninemsn didn’t go as planned, and we unreservedly apologise to Ninemsn’s staff for the mistake and for any problems caused as a result. We will take additional precautions in the future to ensure this kind of situation doesn’t happen again.”

Source: News.com.au Image courtesy of Ubisoft

Battlefield 3 Is Free On PC Until June 3rd – YES. FREE.

As of yesterday Electronic Arts (EA) made the blockbuster title Battlefield 3 available for free on their Origin store. The October 2011 title has pretty much run its commercial course and has been replaced by Battlefield 4 which came out in October 2013. EA is making Battlefield 3 available for free under its “On The House” program where EA gives away games it publishes for free for short periods of time. The program is probably an attempt to increase usage of the Origin distribution platform, but you have to use Origin if you buy these games anyway so the deal is still a pretty sweet one.

You can download Battlefield 3 for free right here. Remember the deal runs only until June 3rd so be sure to share the news with your friends and family so they don’t miss out on this opportunity to get a great game for a great price! Everything’s better when it’s free right?

Source: Origin

Image courtesy of EA