‘Don’t click on Facebook porn links’ is, generally, a good rule to live by, but it is doubly true right now: porn-based malware is spreading across the social network, infecting over 110,000 in just two days.
The malware is disguised as a YouTube video, but one that supposedly requires a Flash update (a giveaway in itself since, in the last few days, YouTube dumped Flash in favour of HTML5). Clicking on the link to download the Flash update will install a Trojan on your system that can override your keyboard and mouse, and then proliferate the malicious link on your Facebook profile.
Facebook has issued the following statement on the matter:
We use a number of automated systems to identify potentially harmful links and stop them from spreading. In this case, we’re aware of these malware varieties, which are typically hosted as browser extensions and distributed using links on social media sites. We are blocking links to these scams, offering cleanup options, and pursuing additional measures to ensure that people continue to have a safe experience on Facebook.
MacRumors reports that sightings of the Apple Watch have increased as we move closer to launch. A number of people have seen the device in the wild being used most likely by Apple employees. It’s been rumoured that Apple has dispatched hundreds or maybe even a couple thousand watches to the most senior employees within Apple. All of this will be part of the company’s stringent testing programme leading to its release in April.
One such watch was spotted on an unidentified wrist seen by Vogue Editor Suzy Menkes who posted the above image on Instagram. Another was spotted on the wrist of a customer in a restaurant in the Marina district of San Francisco.
Rumours have suggested that the company has hastily been working on improving the battery life of the device, with them managing to get at least a nightly charge out of it with average use. As well as that, it seems testers will also be focusing on the device’s software, as Apple tries to iron out any bugs.
One wonders whether these testers need to have the thing padlocked to their wrist.
As part of its annual transparency report, released on Thursday, reddit has revealed that it turned down 42% of all official requests for user data in 2014. Granted, the total number of requests it received was only 55, but it demonstrates that the site will not hand over data on its users unless absolutely necessary.
As reddit wrote in its report:
In March last year, reddit was served with a subpoena by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, seeking “all records and information including registered name, e-mail, and IP address” for user “un1cornbl00d”, specifically relating to a two-day period that month. State authorities suspected un1cornbl00d was part of a couple caught on camera having sex in a public place in Newark, Delaware on St. Patrick’s Day, 2014.
Apple has updated iTunes with a bunch of the usual fixes and tweaks, but also with one handy new feature.
In OS X, iTunes users can now control music being played in the Notification Center – you can skip songs, pause, play and more. There’s also information about the particular song you’re listening to as well as information about the playlist or album.
Notification Center was a feature included with OS X Mavericks in 2013, as part of Apple’s wider efforts to tie-in features across OS X and iOS. It was with OS X Yosemite in 2014 that the company brought along widgets, a feature that allows users to install small gadgets and tools inside Notification Center that can be used to manipulate the wider system and specific apps.
The new update to iTunes is available now via Software Update in the App Store.
In recent years, Google faced probes over its privacy policies from much of Europe, especially after the introduction of the “right to be forgotten” law. Google’s consolidation of its policy in 2012 was met with dissent across the EU. The next year, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique, France’s privacy watchdog, announced that six European countries would launch “coordinated and simultaneous enforcement actions” as Google “has not implemented any significant compliance measures.”
UK’s ICO launched its own investigation into Google recently, concluding that the company should do more to bring its policies in line with European law. It seems Google has complied, introducing the following amendments:
Google will provide clear, unambiguous and comprehensive information regarding data processing, including an exhaustive list of the types of data processed by Google and the purposes for which data is processed;
Google will provide information to enable individuals to exercise their rights;
Google will provide user resource covering data processed by Google and the purposes of processing;
Google will implement several measures to ensure that passive users are better informed about the processing of their data and that publishers using Google products obtain the necessary consents;
Google will enhance its guidance for employees regarding notice and consent requirements;
Google will ensure, so far as practicable, that the requirements of the first principle are applied equally to all Google products, regardless of which terminal device the Google user is accessing them on, including mobile, tablet, desktop, and new hardware offerings;
Google will launch a redesigned version of Account Settings, which will allow users to find a variety of controls and information more easily, and will more prominently feature the Dashboard at the top level.
The new policy comes into effect in the UK on 30th June this year.
We’re all used to stunt montages from GTA, but not bird stunt montages. It was with the ‘enhanced’ version of GTA V on the PS4 and Xbox One that Rockstar included the ability to play as a bird and it seems that one YouTuber has really taken that under his wing.
In this video, 8-bit Bastardon YouTube shows us through a number of hair-raising (for birds) stunts. Plus, there’s some of the more everyday bird activities, such as riding the roof of a train.
British telecoms company BT has announced plans to upgrade its fibre network to offer “initial speeds of a few hundred megabits per second to millions of homes and businesses by 2020″ and up to 500Mbps speeds by 2025.
“We know the technology is capable, so it’s just looking at how we deliver that on a larger scale,” a BT spokesperson said.
BT hopes to achieve this by implementing its “third-way” (copper and fibre being first and second) G.fast technology, which should prove more cost-effective than expanding its network to fibre-to-the-premises.
“[Government money] probably wouldn’t mean it would be faster [to deploy G.fast upgrades] as we’re still rolling our fibre program and as that winds down G.fast will deployment will wind up hence we believe it will stay in broadly the same capex envelope. It might mean the scope of any program could be larger, however but it is a significant engineering task,” the spokesperson added.
Listening to your music on the go is hardly a new trend, we’ve had portable audio since the introduction of devices such as the Sony Walkman; the biggest change in recent years is easily with how we listen to music on the go. Mobile devices act as MP3 players, they offer music streaming services, gaming, movies and of course the least used feature on most people’s phones these days, actual phone calls. Sure all these things can be enjoyed to a certain extent via the built-in speakers and microphones on your device, but for music, movie and games, that may not be the ideal solution. There are many audio solutions on the market for mobile products, such as speaker docks, headphones, headsets and more that all offer ways to expand your audio experience. The latest headset from MEElectronics is packed full of features that make it very appealing to a wide range of users. The headset features wireless technology via Bluetooth, NFC connectivity, a built-in microphone, rechargeable battery, multimedia controls and more!
MEElectronics may not be the first name you think of when purchasing a new headset, but they’re quickly earning a good reputation for creating great quality products and I’m very excited to have my first review sample from them. I’m eager to see how this headset performs and to see if the headset lives up to the hype, so let’s get right to it and see what MEElectronics have to offer to the mobile audio market.
In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started. There’s the headset (obviously), a protective pouch to keep them scratch free when not in use, a 3.5mm cable for backwards compatibility with older phones, as well as with none wireless ready devices such as portable games consoles and media players. Finally, there’s also a USB to Micro-USB cable which can be used to charge the built-in battery.
The overall design of the headset is sleek and stylish. The headset itself is quite slender and lightweight, which should bode well for prolonged usage and comfort.
The glossy black exterior of the headband is backed with a warm red, while the ear cups are trimmed with a silver highlight. There’s a microUSB port on the right ear-cup for the charging cable and an optional 3.5mm jack on the left for the AUX cable.
All the major controls are located directly on the side of the ear cup, giving you quick and easy access to the multimedia controls.
The headband has been given a soft rubber coated padding for extra grip and comfort; it shouldn’t slip off your head while walking around. The ear cups are a little small, but they come with a thick and soft padding that feels very comfortable to the touch; they’re designed to be on-the-ear when worn, rather than over-the-ear.
Helping to provide a better fit are the ear cup mounts, a small pivot at the back allows them to move a few degrees in each direction, so they should feel comfortable on any head shape.
The headband is expandable and foldable; just pull the drivers in and they’ll fold up nice and small; this makes them easier to fit into the included protective pouch.
Overall a very stylish set of headphones, a nice mixture of glossy finishes, soft finish padding and unobtrusive control switches.
Google has just released Smart Lock – it basically turns your Android phone into one of those fancy ‘walk up’ keys for cars, but instead for your Chromebook.
Yes, being in close proximity to your Chromebook will unlock it without you really having to do anything else. The company has had the feature in testing for some time, but it is now available to all.
However, that doesn’t include tablets and your Chromebook must be running version 40+ and have Bluetooth connectivity. Your phone must be running Android 5 and also have Bluetooth.
The feature could be a sign of things to come for Android – Chromebook connectivity, with many suggesting that Google will be interested in bringing more interactivity between the two platforms. Apple’s OS X Yosemite introduced Continuity and Handoff, two features which allows users to continue their activities between the two devices seamlessly. Windows 10 will also bring a similar feature called Continuum.
AOL is shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog or TUAW, as part of its ever-growing cost cutting measures. TUAW was founded in 2004 and was part of Weblogs – a company purchased by AOL in 2005. This news comes hot on the heels of the news that AOL’s gaming blog, Joystiq, would also be shut down.
According to The Verge, TUAW will be shuttered on February 2nd. The closure is unsurprising, as AOL is actively trying to shrink the amount of online properties it manages – CEO Tim Armstrong said in November that his plan was to “simplify everything that can be simplified.”
Instead of selling the site, TUAW is simply being shut down and its employees made redundant, with the possibility of it being brought back in the future.
Rumours suggest that Microsoft is considering investing in Cyanogen, creator of the CyanogenMod ROM, the Android-based firmware that offers an “enhanced open source firmware distribution” of Android, but without Google branding.
The Wall Street Journal, through “people familiar with the matter”, is reporting that Microsoft is weighing up investing $70 million during Cyanogen’s latest financing round.
Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen last week made the bold assertion that “We’re going to take Android away from Google.”
It seems will.i.am isn’t the only musician buying up tech businesses, Jay-Z has now purchased a Spotify competitor, namely Aspiro for $56 Million.
Aspiro is a Scandinavian company, much like Spotify, but instead it offers more services more centric to diehard music fans rather than causal listeners. It has a service called WiMP and another called Tidal and both are much more costly ($20 a month) but instead offer a greater range of features.
WiMP is most only available in Scandinavia, while Tidal is available in the US and the UK. They all offer features such as advanced music curation and playlists, but Tidal offers much higher quality audio – 25 million tracks in 16-bit FLAC.
While it’s no surprise that Jay-Z would buy such a company, it’ll be interesting to see what he does with it and whether the service will really pose a threat to Spotify.
Google’s ‘Attach money’ feature for Gmail, launched in the US back in 2013, is now being rolled out to UK account holders. The feature transfers funds through e-mail from the user’s Google Wallet account.
Launched in 2011, Google Wallet is a pre-paid mobile payment service that can be linked to a user’s credit card or debit card. Payments for goods and services can be made for online purchases that accept Google Wallet payments, or even in shops that offer NFC transactions via smartphone.
In a blog post announcing the UK launch, Google said, “We’re excited to make this feature available for Gmail users in the UK. ‘This means people in the UK will now be able to quickly and securely send money to friends and family in the UK directly within desktop Gmail.”
That’s not a headline you see everyday – Adobe is leading a suit against US clothing chain Forever 21, in which they allege that the chain repeatedly pirated a number of Adobe software applications, including Photoshop and Illustrator. The company is joined in the suit by AutoDesk and Corel, who claim that the company also pirated its software too.
The suit says that the company pirated 63 different instances of Adobe software and that they “continued their infringing activities even after being contacted by Adobe regarding the infringement.” Although we don’t know exactly how much money they want, the suit wants an injunction to be issued as well as the issue of compensation for any profits missed out on as a result of the piracy, as well as court costs and any additional damages that can be justified.
While individuals often get away with piracy, it seems that Adobe and others want to make it clear to corporations that piracy is indeed serious and that such a large business should know better.
BIOSTAR has released the latest mainboard based on their exclusive A70M chipset from AMD, the TA70U3-LSP. The ATX sized motherboard is FM2+ based and comes with USB 3.0, SATA 3 and built in LAN Surge Protection among others.
The motherboard supports dual and quad core FM2+/FM2 processors, A-series, and E2-series processors and up to 32GB DDR3 RAM.
It has one PCI-E x16 3.0, two PCI-E x1 2.0, and three PCI expansion slots as well as six SATA connectors, one USB3 and two USB 2 headers. Gigabit Ethernet and 5.1 channel audio are also part of the deal. The TA70U3-LSP supports AMD Dual Graphics Technology and also has support for full HDMI 3D 1080p.
The LSP of the product name stands for Lan Surge Protection and that is done by adding extra integrated chips directly into the board to strengthen electrical stability.
Like all motherboards, it comes with a long list of exclusive features. BIOSTAR offers their SmartSpeedLan, ChargeBooster, BIO-Remote, BIOS malware protection and recovery. It’s also built with 100% solid capacitors.
No word on pricing or availability yet. But since they say it is released, it’s only a matter of time before it arrives at retailers around the world.
Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information
Crowdfunding campaigns have been getting weirder. Just last week we reported on the story that a guy from Norwich had started offering dates with himself on Indiegogo, but this week we have news of the most backed Kickstarter ever – ‘Exploding Kittens’.
Don’t worry, 100,000 people haven’t have backed a campaign to blow up every kitten on the planet, but rather they have backed a card game that is specifically “for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats”. Pretty much the whole internet rolled into one.
The card game is actually the brainchild of video game developers Elan Lee and Shane Small and illustrated by Matthew Inman, who were originally asking for just $10,000. It has since raised over $4 Million through the support of its record breaking 108,000 backers.
Intel officially announced the availability of its 5th generation Intel Core vPro 14nm processor family that’s designed for the rapidly shifting workplace and create a more dynamic workflow. The new generation offers wireless innovations, built-in security, faster performance and improved manageability.
The three specific key areas Intel has focused on are PC design innovation, Wireless Display, and Wireless Docking. Businesses can choose from a ‘never before seen’ PC designs across 2-in-1s, Ultrabooks, Ultrathin Clamshells, and Mini PCs with up to twice the battery life and more than twice the performance.
“Our goal is to enable all users to simply work better by offsetting the growing challenges of today’s businesses,” said Tom Garrison, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Business Client Platforms. “With new devices based on 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors, we aim to transform the user experience by helping them compute from virtually anywhere without the clutter and burden of wires.”
Intel Pro Wireless Display (WiDi) turns presentations and conference rooms into a cable-free zone. It supports key IT requirements such as wireless channel management to mitigate network congestion risk and security vulnerabilities, and the ability to efficiently update and manage adapters remotely.
Intel’s Wireless Docking allows users to be connected and ready to work the moment they walk up to their desk. This secure and manageable, wire-free technology is based on Intel’s Wireless Gigabit technology and enables systems to automatically dock to monitors, keyboards, mice, and USB accessories, all wireless.
The 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors also provide hardware-enhanced security and manageability capabilities. When paired with the Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series, ‘IT departments can implement built-in data encryption capabilities, while users enjoy protection so smart, they’ll never feel the difference’.
New 2 in 1s, Ultrabooks, Ultrathin Clamshells, and Mini PCs based on 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors are available now from 12 leading PC manufacturers with more expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Thanks to Intel for providing us with this information
Maintenance work is supposed to improve things and not make them worse, but the latter seems to be the situation after last weekends work on The Crew for PS4. A lot of users are getting the error code #3_5eaa9404_3 that implies a corrupt save game and prevents the user from playing the game.
This isn’t the first time this has been an issue either for Ubisoft and their PS4 version of The Crew. Both in July and December users experienced the same problems according to a 250+ post forum thread on the official support forum.
Ubisoft is simply asking all its users that experience the issue to create a support ticket and submit their details – but users report of 4-day silences on their tickets, so far.
Developer Quantic Dream has been working hard to update their 2005 classic, Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy. The newly remastered version features all the things you would expect, such as updated graphics, full controller support and the addition that it’s based on the fully uncut/uncensored version of the game.
The graphics may not be anything too fancy, this isn’t the most sophisticated remastered released, but fans of the original, or for those eager to play through this bizarre and interesting classic, there never has been a better time to do so.
Ever seen a USB connector just sticking out of a wall in New York? That’s because artist Aram Bartholl came up with the idea called “Dead Drops”. Essentially, Aram has been creating a completely anonymous offline file-sharing network and while I wouldn’t imagine this kind of file sharing to be safe from viruses and other issues, I still love the idea.
Of course, plugging your laptop into a wall could cause it to get a few scratches, so a little care would be needed. However, the temptation to simply discover what others have left on the drives, as well as thinking about the kind of cool stuff you could leave on there too, is pretty awesome.
Each Dead Drop is installed with just one file on the device, a small .txt file which explains how the project works.
A lot of things get pushed off as art these days. Splattered paint, piles of rubbish, famous paintings in raw data, just to name a few. But what about GTA V without any textures? Is that really ‘art’?
Maybe more so than the others in that list. These images consist of screenshots of Los Santos from GTA V without any textures. Artist Kim Laughton had the idea and her shots are now part of the Monadigital exhibition Flanetrie in China.
The images offer a unique view of the city formed of abstract shapes.
Anyone who has played the Witcher series will know that intimate sex scenes are an important part of the game’s story. The Witcher 3 is shaping up to be the biggest game in the series so far, which essentially means there will be more saucy scenes throughout. This explains a little of why CD Projekt Red needed 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data.
“We are establishing that your character was intimate with this woman recently in order to plant in your mind, that, at the very least, he must enjoy her company,” Senior Game Designer Damien Monhier said. “Through sex we have shown that this is a person who Geralt would be compelled to chase after if she went missing. We couldn’t just tell you to go find someone you don’t know or care about,” he said. “It wouldn’t work.”
No one is saying that the game has 16 hours of these scenes, but that it took that much data to get them right. It is interesting that they’re putting a lot of effort into the more mature content side of their game, to help establish a more meaningful relationship in-game; let’s hope it paid off.
Thank you PCGamer for providing us with this information.
Long haul flights can be exhausting, being stick in a pressurized cabin with no escape other than a small TV screen, a peek out the window or the blindfold to help you sleep. At least that much was true until now, as first-class passengers flying between Australia and the US will be getting treated to Samsung Gear VR headsets by Qantas during their flight.
“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or to experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” said Qantas group executive Olivia Wirth. “It’s also a fantastic tool to feature our network’s destinations, inspiring travel and promoting tourism.” she added.
Qantas are saying they’ll have a few other cool experiences on the headset, while it’s also likely that we’ll find movies and other entertainment, such as games, being added to the device.
The trial will last for three months on certain flights between Australia and Los Angeles, beginning in March this year.
Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.
It is always a pleasure to get an SSD in for review, and even more when it is a high-performance PCI-Express based M.2 SSD. We’ve previously had a look at the Plextor M6e and today it’s time to take a closer look at the brand new Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI Express SSD with 256GB capacity. This drive doesn’t just promise to be a high-performing SSD, but it is also a beauty to look at.
The Plextor M6e Black Edition supports PCI Express Gen II x2 and can achieve sequential reads up to 770 and writes up to 580 MB/s. Random speeds aren’t without either and the M6eBE broke through the 105K/100K IOPS barrier. The SSD also comes with native 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data protected.
Speed isn’t everything, reliability is just as important. The M6eBE supports both S.M.A.R.T and TRIM to keep everything running smoothly. It has also been exposed to Plextor’s Zero-Failure Zero-Error standard where it’s rigorous tested using the world’s most advanced SSD testing facilities – FLEXSTAR testing chamber. The M6e Black Edition provides extreme reliability with an MTBF calculated at 2.4 million hours. To back up this statement, the drive comes with a five-year warranty.
Plextor thought about people without the latest and most modern systems as well and retained the backwards compatibility through AHCI support. The M6e Black Edition is bootable through both UEFI and legacy BIOS. It is however strongly recommended to use UEFI if your system supports it, it will after all cut your boot times in half.
The high-performance cooling fin design doesn’t just help to cool your new SSD, it also looks very gorgeous. While cooling of such an SSD usually isn’t a great issue, it can be very wise in several scenarios. If you got bad airflow in your case or the SSD sits nudged between a couple high performing GPUs, then you’ll want the extra cooling that this great looking card has to offer. The PCIe card features a default SATA power connector in the event that your PCIe slot can’t deliver the stable and needed power supply required. The card has a 2-pin header for lighting cues and five LEDs, three yellow for power and two blue for activity. It is Half-Height, Half-Length (HHHL) and would fit well with low profile brackets, although none are included.
At the heart of the Plextor M6e Black Editon, we find the latest generation dual-core Marvell 88SS9183 SSD controller chip and Toshiba’s A19 synchronous toggle NAND flash memory as well as 512MB DDR3 cache.
I haven’t even had this drive connected to my system for benchmarks yet, and I already love it. It looks so sleek with the black PCB, black bracket, black SSD, black cover, and red cooler. The finish is superb on everything from solder points to the metal coating. When we couple that with the amazing specifications, we know that the Plextor M6e Black Edition is one heck of a Solid State Drive.
We had a first look at the PlexTurbo software in our Plextor M6 Pro review, and now the software has been improved even more; now reaching version 2.0. PlexTurbo is a RAMDisk feature, but it is also a lot more and comes with three main advantages.
The first is the clear performance boost by using up to 4GB system RAM (max a quarter of the total) as cache. The application will write the data simultaneously on the cache as well as on the SSD but instead of rewriting the entire file, it compares for changes and only replaces those instead of everything. At the same time, the cache is used for quicker access to frequently used data.
The second benefit is the extended life expectation due to the reduced unnecessary rewriting of redundant data. The third and last benefit over most other RAMDisk software is the safety against power loss. There won’t be any data loss in case of a sudden power failure because the data is written simultaneously to both the cache as well as the SSD
The presentation at CES 2015 showed us speeds over 8000 MB/s. This of course depends on memory as well as processor speed, so we won’t get quite that far; it will still be interesting to see how well it performs in our own benchmarks.
Apple has suffered a massive error with its iTunes Connect service for developers. The online service, which is designed to allow software developers to manage the apps they publish, had literally gone haywire earlier today, but has since been fixed.
Rather startlingly, a significant number of users who signed in to iTunes Connect found that they had been logged into accounts belonging to other people. A number of users took to Twitter to prove that they had access to the accounts of other developers, and in some cases access to accounts belonging to major companies, such as Time Magazine, as can be seen in the tweet bellow.
Many reported that they could see apps that were either in development or being reviewed, leaking details of apps yet to be released by other developers. Despite this though, users were limited in what they could do to other’s accounts – trying to change various account settings and modifying apps didn’t really do anything other than return an error.
Apple quickly took the service offline and it has since been fixed, with iTunes Connect back open.
Seth McFarlane’s mouthy teddybear is back again in Ted 2, and Universal Pictures have just released the first trailer.
The first movie focused on the life of a grumpy and foul-mouthed teddy bear that magically came to life. This new movie sees the return of Ted fighting for his right to be recognised as a human, all because he wants to get married, to a human.
The movie comes out in the summer, specifically June 26th in the US, but for now, you’ll have to settle for this trailer.