Lottery Terminals Hacked To Print Winning Tickets

The lottery is all about odds, from your numbers being picked to choosing to stay with your classic numbers or go for a lucky dip this weekend. It seemed that a group of people didn’t quite want luck to factor in and had in fact hacked lottery terminals in order to print winning tickets.

A group of six people has been charged with the crime in which they worked or owned retail stores that took part in the 5 Card Cash game in Connecticut. The only reason they got caught? They were winning too much.

Typically the state average for winning the lottery was 24 percent, but in one of the stores, there was a 76% chance of winning. They were able to do this by tampering with the terminals used to print lottery tickets and then cash them in. They might not be all of it though as investigators are claiming that “more arrests may be made in the future”.

The Hartford Courant stated the hack worked:

“An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.”

The 5 Card Cash game was cancelled after several months when the lottery officials realised that it came with more winning tickets than the system should have allowed. To this day, the game has remained suspended and looks to remain that way with the revelation of how many people were able to break the system for profit.

The Key to Making Human Organs? Cotton Candy!

Technology and science help people do amazing things. From letting people walk again to letting dogs enjoy a game of fetch with their owner, technology has come a long way in its quest to help everyone. One of the key focuses for science and technology to expand on is its ability to replace damaged or malfunctioning organs like a heart or even your skin. The problem with creating organs is it’s expensive, often costing hundreds and thousands just to get the technology you need to make them, so imagine our surprise when people started creating organs like cotton candy.

Using a $40 cotton candy machine from Target, Leon Bellan reports that he was able to create a cube of artificial capillaries. While this may seem like a weird way of creating something, the results speak for themselves, lasting for over a week. In contrast, other methods rarely last as long, meaning that the technique not only is cheaper but has so far produced surprisingly positive results.

Bellan got the idea from the saying that electrospun fibers, the technique that is often used to create artificial capillaries, “look like silly string, or Cheese Whiz, or cotton candy”. The more impressive result is the size of the threads that the cotton candy machine creates, averaging at about three microns while an average capillary is 10 microns. Compared to electrospun fibers, which are often ten times larger too big, the size meant that it was already a success before the week was over.

Computer Completes a Rubik’s Cube In A Spellbinding Time

There are many things in life that are quite annoying and include inventions such as Predictive Text; however, the Rubik’s Cube certainly adds a new dimension to the word “Frustrating”. But, what happens if you mix a homemade computer with arguably the world’s most difficult game?

Well, two software engineers from Kansas, US, decided to find out and it becomes apparent this computer was able to successfully complete the iconic puzzle in a mind-bending 1.047 seconds, this means that it successfully found the correct permutations quicker than it would have taken for you or me to say the word Rubik’s Cube.

The current Guinness World Record is a rather poor 2.3 seconds while humans are currently well behind on a snail-like pace of 4.9 seconds, although, that is still pretty fast. If you’re wondering, this record is held by a 14-year-old who goes by the name Lucas Etter in November 2015.

Below is the video, as you can see, the cube is being held within a 3D printed frame via “drilled holes with four USB cameras pointing at the puzzle. The robot is then hooked up to a Linux-based computer running a Kociemba Rubik’s cube-solving algorithm that takes the information delivered from the cameras and then works out in milliseconds which moves to make”.

The creators, Jay Flatland and Paul Rose uploaded the video and are currently applying for it to be officially recognized as a new world record, one would assume this would be a time which stands for a long while, although, you know what assumptions are.

Vending Machines Big Enough to Sell Full-Size Cars?

One of the most painful experiences as an adult is having to use a vending machine, 9/10 times the stupid thing gets stuck and you either have to do the walk of shame to the person with the keys or give the machine a naughty shake. Well, the technology has been making the move towards a much larger and more expensive product, namely your potential new car.

Carvana is now setting out to revolutionise the way that we buy and collect our new cars. Instead of the traditional method of going to the dealership and then walking out to your car and drive it home, you can no almost complete the transaction without human contact. You order your car online, drive to a collection point and insert a special token that is encoded and the delivery system picks up your car and pushes it to your feet.

This is by far not the first time this style of delivery system has been implemented and it’s not the largest version either, being beaten to both by Volkswagen HQ in Germany.

I can see the appeal for this style system, remove the sales person and save money. Remove the valet/ parking attendant and all potential human parking error is removed. I honestly don’t see the point of this new system unless there is one in every town and a chauffeur to take you there. You still have to find a way to go collect the car, you still have to wait for the car to become ready, you still have to use your feet dang it!

Win a Syber Vapor K Steam Machine Worth £999!

To mark the OFFICIAL launch of Steam Machines, we’ve joined forces with the awesome people at Cyberpower to give away a Cyber Power Syber Steam Machine Vapor K worth £ 999 inc. VAT!

Included in the spec is the latest 6th Gen Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB GPU, Steam OS and the groundbreaking Steam Controller. Full specifications here.

With such great gaming hardware, there is no doubt that someone is going to be very happy with this prize, giving you a super fast Steam Machine to play on this Christmas. If you’re ready to enter this fantastic competition, just hit up the link below. Good luck!

Thank you Cyberpower for providing us with this incredible prize!

ENTER HERE

Army Wants Automated Defences For Their Bases

Security is of key importance for a lot of people, be it locking your door before you leave for work or having your phone so you can call people if something happens. We all like that kind of security, but some are most vested in developing it beyond what we currently have.

When it comes to the Army, security is even more important where the perimeters of their bases are at stake. A new prototype being tested at Fort Bliss is looking at replacing the three or four guards in a tower by one in a command bunker. The new system, dubbed ‘Tower Hawk’, looks to pack a Browning 50 caliber machine gun and a .338 Lapua sniper rifle atop a tower that can be unpacked in less than an hour by six soldiers.

The system was revealed at the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 16.1, an event that is designed to allow NATO members to share their new technologies. With all the stations wired together it means that one soldier can replace several on lookout duty, with the ability to defend their outposts from the safety of a bunker.

With a person controlling the system, and the ability to look out and defend the output while protecting lives all through a networked system.

Thank you Engadget for the information and image.

Green Dispensing Malware to ATM Machines

A downside of technical innovation lies in the unfortunate ability to hack devices with the aim of stealing information and scamming consumers out of their savings. ATM’s are not immune to this threat and a new breed of malware has the ability to allow an attacker the option to drain the ATM’s cash vault before erasing the evidence.

The malware in question is coined “Green Dispenser” and it implements an out of service message on the ATM, but, all is not well as attackers with access to the correct pin codes can then drain the ATM’s cash vault and erase Green Dispenser using a deep delete process, leaving little if any trace of how the ATM was robbed. Let’s take a look at the deployment and operation process of this greedy piece of malware.

Deployment and Operation

The only way this malware can be installed is via physical access to the machine, therefore it is not possible to walk up to an ATM which is situated in a shop or sunk into a bank wall and attempt to install such code, therefore this raises the option of a compromised employee with access to said machines. Green Dispenser has the ability to target “ATM hardware from multiple vendors using the XFS standard. It achieves this by querying for peripheral names from the registry hive before defaulting to hardcoded peripheral names”.

An operational functionality in the coded run date is “2015” with the month being earlier than September. This suggests to analysts that Green Dispenser was employed in a limited operation and designed to deactivate itself to avoid detection. A second layer which the attackers have implemented with the aim of hiding their activities lies in the authentication using a hardcoded pin which is then followed by a second pin which this time is dynamic.

It is believed the attacker in question derives this second PIN from a QR code which is displayed on the screen of the infected ATM, which is then read by an application that can be scanned onto a smart phone. Think of this as similar to logging into your favourite website, you input in a password before using a second two factor authentication method to unlock your account, by implementing this method it makes it more secure so that only the person in question can use the malware, provided they have the correct authentication.

Once the malware is run it attempts to verify if the month is earlier than September and the current year is 2015, if it finds the year to be say 2014, it simply shuts down. If the details are correct, Green Dispenser “creates a second desktop environment on the ATM called “dDispW” and creates a window in the second desktop called “Dispenser”. This is with the aim of overlaying an “Out Of Order” message within the ATM screen; it is worth noting that the message has appeared in Spanish as well as English.

Below is the QR code screenshot, “If the dispense cash option is selected, Green Dispenser attempts to query the registry location “HKEY_USERS\ .DEFAULT\XFS\LOGICAL_SERVICES\class=CDM” to find the peripheral name for the cash dispenser. If not found, it defaults to “CurrencyDispener1” which is the cash dispenser peripheral name on specific ATMs. It then makes a call to WFSExecute with the command set to “WFS_CMD_CDM_DISPENSE” and a timeout of 12000 to dispense cash”.

As you can see, it’s a complex piece of malware which aims to offer the option to take as much money as you would like, which is good, (Disclaimer – please don’t take as much money as you want, it may sound good but it is not) Manufactures and banks would need to work together to counteract these threats with updated modern security upgrades, if not, expect these methods to become a standard in attacks against machines.

Thank you proofpoint for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of hacer

Free Rocket League and Portal 2 for Steam Hardware Pre-Orders

Rocket League has got an extremely popular launch on Steam and already sold more than 1 million copies on the platform since release last month. A milestone like that has to be celebrated and the first way that is done is by creating a SteamOS and MacOS version of the game, bringing it to even more platforms and potential gamers.

The second way they are celebrating this is even better, at least for those of us that pre-ordered Steam Hardware or still plan on doing so before the launch. Valve announced late last night that all those will get a free copy of Rocket League. That offer is valid for the Steam Controllers, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.

The initial email from Valve on this didn’t really specify how people would get the free games, whether they would show up as coupons or you’d had to claim it somehow. I am personally one of those who pre-ordered a Steam Controller from the first pre-order batch and as such I was extra curious. So I reached out to Valve to hear how I could redeem my new free game. The reply was almost instant and the news is good. You don’t have to do anything at all, it will automatically show up in your steam library and all you have to do is install it.

This morning when I logged into Steam the news got even better as Valve put one more on top and also gave out Portal 2 on top of Rocket League. Both games are available in my library and they are probably in yours too if you pre-ordered some hardware.

Usually, it’s a sad thing when you already have a game on Steam and get another copy through a pack or freebie, because you’ll lose it. But not this time. If you already have one or both of the games, then you’ll get a coupon to give the extra to a friend instead. The terms did not specify if you’d get multiple codes if you order more than one part of Steam Hardware, but I’d assume you will.

“User reviews, sales of Rocket League on Steam, and its surging rise among eSports enthusiasts make it clear that the game is an absolute sensation,” said DJ Powers at Valve. “In addition to being tremendously fun, our testing shows it plays brilliantly with the Steam Controller. So it was a natural decision for us to work with Psyonix and offer it to gamers free of charge when they pre-order a Steam Hardware device.”

“We’re extremely excited about SteamOS and Mac,” said Dave Hagewood, Founder and President of Psyonix. “Our PC players have already proven how much passion they have for our game, and this is a great opportunity for us to bring Rocket League to an even wider audience inside the Steam family”

For the next 48 hours, to celebrate the popularity of Rocket League, the game will be on Sale in Steam with a 10% discount. That is for all those who haven’t pre-ordered any Steam hardware.

Naive Man Upgrades PC To Windows 10 And Has A Photo Problem

By photo problem you are probably imagining the upgrade to Windows 10 has deleted some unlucky person’s valuable images of life’s memories. Oh no, this is much less captured family time and more caught out with NSFW pics.

A Reddit user which goes by the username FalloutBoS, started the process of upgrading his PC to the shiny new Windows 10 OS, he went to bed satisfied in the knowledge that he would have a pleasant surprise the next morning. He had a surprise all right, when he was abruptly woken by his slightly confused wife who questioned why there were blue images rotating on his desktop.

Imagine that, the love of your life walks past the PC for only to then see nude images, this man is unlucky. So how did this happen? It looks as if yet another controversial feature has befallen him, which is Win 10 fetches images from a users default pictures gallery before playing them on repeat on the screen.

The gentleman stated the following

“Woke up to wife asking why I set it to rotate all my adult images right on the desktop view. I have no idea how to shut that feature off and that computer is staying shut down until I do.”

Let this tale be a lesson to any individuals who may have NSFW images in their default picture folder, if you don’t want your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband to confront you about it, then move them, FalloutBos wife apparently understood, your other half might not be so sympathetic, if he/she is, then you will in all probability be together forever.

Thank You Reddit for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of slashgear

How Were Photos Transmitted Before The Internet?

The simplicity of sending your favourite JPEG is as easy as one or two clicks, but in a world before the Internet, yes there really was a whole globe that was not connected in cyber space, how did they send photos to each other?

Below is the answer, the United Press International UPI Model 16-S, scanned black and white photos and sent them across the globe via phone lines. This archaic yet interesting device was used by various news outlets from the 1970s to the first half of the 1990s. The way this machine worked was to slowly scan a black and white photo which spun on a small drum using a laser, before the analogue data was sent line by line over phone lines. This was sort of high-speed Internet of the 1970s.

This process was time-consuming considering it took around nine minutes to send a black and white photo. This sounds incredibly long, but this was considered a lot quicker than when colour images were introduced taking the time to send each image to around 26 minutes.

These types of first generation tech should be preserved for the future, they may not have been hi tech considering today’s super fast connections, but the learning opportunities which exist within them are perfect to inspire budding inventors and students alike. It’s amazing to think how tech has involved within a relativity short period of time to enable images to be uploaded and sent in a matter of seconds. Just imagine how the likes of Facebook and Flickr would have operated without the option to send photos from across the world to friends and family quickly and reliably.

As a society, we take tech for granted and it always places life’s invents into perspective considering 25 years ago this machine was considered revolutionary.

Thank you petapixel for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of writeincolor

Hot Toys Build An 18 Foot Millennium Falcon

Replica toys of famous franchises have always been popular with collectors of these detailed creations, from Sideshow Collectables to Hot Toys, these somewhat expensive pieces of art have a dedicated following. A 12-inch figure is good, but there not quite the real thing, well, the mentioned company Hot Toys have built a sixth scale toy version of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

It’s not quite what you may have in mind as these images below demonstrate; it’s both fantastic and quite literally awe-inspiring. The company have unveiled this monstrous creation at the Ani-Com and Games convention in Hong Kong.

Owning one might be problematic considering Hot Toys have stated that you would probably need to dedicate an entire floor of your home for this version to fit. There is no word yet on the kind of price structure which this toy/collectible might retail for if indeed it will be built for general sale at all. My guess is it might well be sold to certain collectors considering there will always be a market for luxury items which capture the imagination of fans, albeit collectors who have expendable income to burn on a giant Star Wars ship.

Thank You to Gizmodo and toyark for providing us with this information

Remember the Ultra-Rare ‘Infinium Phantom’ Console?

Hands up, who remembers the Infinium Phantom Console? OK only the most dedicated of gamers amongst you do, this is a tale of how the fore mentioned console appeared in a repair shop.

If you are not sure of how the Phantom Console first came to be, then here’s a quick rundown, this console was first announced in the year 2002, oh the nostalgia of the original Xbox, ultra slow dial-up and no social networking. I have nothing against Facebook, but it was certainly a different time back then. Anyway, the Phantom was a “revolutionary” effort to bring the power of a PC to the living room TV; this was a pretty big dream considering how rudimentary Personal Computers were in the early 2000, imagine hooking up that big Windows XP machine to your huge backed TV.

Infinium’s aim was to build a machine capable of streaming games over a broadband connection this was certainly a big dream considering the Internet was in its infancy and had not been adopted by a huge chunk of the population. Unfortunately or somewhat predictably, the console did not launch onto the market, and by 2006, Infinium had suffered a massive $73 million in losses, now I normally use a currency converter, but there are too many noughts for me to care.

Since then the Phantom has been remembered for, well, not much really until one appeared at a repair shop. According to reports, a gentleman by the name of Eddie Schlesinger remembered an incident which happened three years ago, when a console collector walked into his store with a Phantom console. The collector had picked the console up for $200 (£130) from a person with whom he did some work for, does not say what work, could have been a cheap hitman for all we know.

The person offering the collector the console did not know what it was and therefore sold it for a cheap price. The collector took it to the repair shop because the console really did not work at all, Mr Schlesinger fitted a hard drive with Windows XP, reattached the audio jacks before connecting it to a monitor for it to load the promo screen, an image of this is below, the owner was pleased with his efforts and took it home.

It’s amazing how a prototype which never appeared on the market was accidentally found by a collector. If this was a counterfeit machine then it would have been a detailed replica which would not have been worth anything for the person who went to the trouble. If Infinium had invented the notion of internet living room gaming a decade later and managed to pull it off, the landscape of gaming would have been altered forever.

Thank You ars technica for providing us with this information and images

Gauss Cannon Designed To Heal You From Inside

SONY DSC

Gauss Guns are often a thing of fiction. While they have been designed, achieving their aim is difficult due to the size and energy required to fire them. For those who are unaware of what I mean when I say gauss gun, it was a device designed to avoid using gun powder. Using magnetic charges, the concept is to propel an object through the air using only metal, a small electrical charge and magnetism. A research team in America may have found another use for it though.

University of Houston and Bostons Child Hospital have developed an application for the gauss technology to help medicine. The idea would be to inject tiny microscopic robots into your body which could then be ‘remote controlled’ via an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine. Using magnetism, the nano-bots would be steered to a location, before finally sending in an activation nano-bot. When this final nano-bot is inserted it bumps into the next, sending it flying into the next and this continues until the last one is reached. With this in mind the final nano-bot can be used to do anything from opening blocked passageways, delivering a drug to a specific area of the body or even puncturing a membrane to release fluid which has gathered in the body.

With yet another example how science is being changed to not only prevent harm but also to save lives, the only thing left before future trials is to miniaturize the nano-bots, which at the moment are just bots.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Apple To Replace 3TB Hard Drives In 2012 Model iMacs

We all love that little extra storage, some of us even need it. At the moment my hard drive is warning me that I’m running with less than 50GB free (game sales always do that), and some of us sometimes even end up upgrading our hard drives just in case we might need that little extra space. So what about those of you who brought a 3TB iMac between December 2012 and September 2013?

For those who bought an iMac in this period might want to take up Apple on their replacement scheme they’ve recently launched. If you take them up on the offer Apple will replace and transfer your data (if it’s possible) until December 19th or three years after the original sale (whichever ends later). It will also compensate people who have paid to replace a hard drive from the list of affected models.

So what’s affecting all these hard drives? Quite simply they are failing almost 44% of the time, almost five times that of the models released during the 2013 period a year before.

The graph above outlines the information that MacNN was able to report on, showing that with a 44% for a 3TB Seagate hard drive, a significant change from their normal failure rate.

If you are a Mac user and want to check if your iMac may be affected check out the replacement scheme located here, by entering your serial number you can check if your system may be affected by this problem.With the offer

With the offer available, even if you’ve yet to experience a problem with your machine I would recommend checking and taking them up on the offer if the problem does affect you. The last thing anyone wants is to lose their files and memories because of a bad hard drive.

Thank you MacNN for the information.

Image courtesy of Apple.

Steam Machines Specifications Announced

The Steam Machine has intrigued PC gamers for a little while now; a PC aimed directly at the console market with a huge and cheaper array of games and upgradeability.

Today, Valve announced the launch date for the Steam Machine, Steam Link streaming box, and Steam controller; on November 10; although it’s not clear whether that is a global release or regional. Customers that have pre-ordered will have an exclusive ‘while stocks last’ early shipment due for October 16th.

The Steam Machine will have two main manufacturers, Alienware, and Cyberpower. The Alienware version will range from $450 to $750, starting off with an Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD; moving up to the higher bracket scores an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD. All of Alienware’s offerings will be equipped with an NVIDIA GTX 860M+ mobile graphics card.

Cyberpower will offer a much more enthusiast friendly version; starting off at $500 for an Intel Core i3 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 desktop graphics card. This is set to be the ‘baseline’ Steam Machine ready for enthusiasts to take home and upgrade themselves.

Are you looking forward to the Steam Machine launch? Will you be converting from a console to join the PC gamers? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.

Well This gives ‘Meat Spin’ a New Meaning

The internet is a sinister place people, only very hardened folk delve into what the internet has to offer and make it out unscathed… well mostly. I won’t name it directly, but who remembers the horrible trolling event when dual female participants organised something down right nasty with a plastic drinking utensil?

Now you have that image in your mind, take a look at this.

That most definitely gives a new meaning to ‘meating people’. Tender is the lazy man’s version of Tinder. Want to ‘meat’ a new companion, share your love of meat, but can’t be bothered staring at a screen while you swipe right? This could be the machine for you. At least you can use this as a first date ice breaker.

From the video, it is unclear whether this machine has a name or even if it has any technology inside (I’m pretty sure there’s someone crouched behind the machine in the first shot). Someone please let me know if there is a name for this, I would like to shake the crazy person’s hand.

Does anyone still use Tinder? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Machine That ‘Uncooks Eggs’ Used to Improve Cancer Treatment

A machine invented by an Australian scientist that can “unboil an egg” by unfolding the proteins in egg whites back to their natural state has been hailed as a potential game-changer for the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.

The machine, the vortex fluidic device was invented by Professor Colin Raston from Flinders University works by using mechanical energy by spinning molecules at a phenomenal speed (up to 5000 rpm!) to control chemical processes. So far it has been used to “unboil” an egg by uncoiling the albumen proteins and returning them to their natural state, making them active again in a clear liquid.

The device may be able to assist in the delivery of chemotherapy drugs according to a report published by Nature.

“The machine dramatically improves the attachment of the platinum-based cancer drug carboplatin to nano-sized delivery tubes called vesicles. Carboplatin works by binding to cancer cells, inhibiting their DNA synthesis and cell division. The authors of the paper expect that the use of nano-tubes for delivery will allow for a more targeted release of the chemotherapy drug.”

“The hope is that by releasing carboplatin faster at lower pH levels, patients will be able to receive lower doses for more effective treatment.”

It also minimises drug waste. Up to half a tonne of manufacturing waste can be generated by the production of just one kilogramme of anti-cancer drugs.

“Much of the drugs end up in the sewerage system and [could] create superbugs in our environment,” Dr Raston said.

Thank you to TheAge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Parade

Chinese Scientists Invent Liquid Metal Machines That Move by ‘Eating’ Substances

Chinese scientists from the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the medical school of Tsinghua University have reportedly invented liquid metal machines that can change shape similar to the T-1000 robot in the Terminator 2 movie by ‘eating’ substances.

The machines are stated to ‘eat’ small pieces of aluminium and move spontaneously in various solutions and structured channels for more than an hour at a speed of 5 centimeters per second.

“The biomimetic mollusk is highly self-adaptive and closely conforms to the geometrical space it is in,” scientists wrote.

The power for the liquid metal motor comes from the endogenous electric field of liquid alloys, metal and hydrogen generated by the electrochemical reactions. Based on the latter theory, the researchers then developed several liquid metal machines that move in alkalescent, acidic or neutral electrolytes.

“Such liquid metal transformers and locomotors could provide on-demand use given specific designs,” according to the researchers’ paper

Scientists and engineers alike share the dream of advanced intelligent machines that are flexible and are able to spontaneously shape-shift, therefore real-world application possibilities granted from the prototypes developed by the Chinese researchers are infinite.

Thank you English.news.cn for providing us with this information

ZOTAC Announces SN970 Steam Machine

Zotac has shown off their new Steam Machine, and it looks great. The SN970 is marketed with some strong words, promising to rewrite the definition of PC gaming. These words have been uttered before, but SteamOS might actually be a platform that can either pull it off or at least get it started in the right direction.

Inside it packs a 6th Generation Intel Processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM. It has 8GB DDR3 SODIMM, a 2.5-inch 1TB HDD and a 64GB M.2 SSD, but these can of course be upgraded.

The system comes with SteamOS preloaded  and the graphics card provides 4x HDMI 2.0 ports with support for 4K UHD at 60Hz as well as 2D/3D NVIDIA Surround. It also has a HDMI-in for pass-through signals and dual Gigabit Ethernet to make sure you have the best transfer speeds possible.

The Zotac SN970 has plenty of USB connectors with two front and two rear USB 3.0 and two rear USB 2.0 ports. Card reader, mini DisplayPort, ac WiFi, and Audio jacks are also present to make the whole thing complete.

That kind of hardware doesn’t come cheap, but it still seems reasonable with a $999 price tag. The availability is set for November, so we need to have patience for a while longer.

Thanks to ZOTAC for providing us with this information

Steam Will Present Final Steam Controller and VR Hardware at GDC

It’s been a long time since Valve first showed us their idea for the steam box and controller as pictured above. The final stage of this project is almost upon us as Valve is gearing up for the Game Developers Conference 2015 in San Francisco.

Valve will show a family of new Steam devices and among the products being demonstrated at GDC include Steam Machines with the final Steam Controller, new living room devices, and also a previously unannounced SteamVR hardware system.

GDC 2015 also marks the 13th anniversary of Valve’s first public announcement of Steam that now hosts over 4500 games and has 125 million active accounts worldwide.

Thanks to Valve for providing us with this information

Bitcoin ATM’s Pop Up Around Melbourne, Australia

A few months ago, there was one currency on everyone’s lips – Bitcoin. People were scrambling to make their own Bitcoin mining machines, Reddit users developed their own currency called Dogecoin and our parents and grandparents become more technology-confused than  ever before.

Since the hype has died down, I’ve just received reports from a friend of mine that Bitcoin ATM’s have just started popping up in the Central CBD of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The image you’re looking at above is taken from the famous “Melbourne Central” shopping center and train station, allowing users to exchange, buy and sell Bitcoin all from a handy kiosk located in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle. Unfortunately a higher resolution image became impossible when Facebook Messenger was utilized as the method of communication.

We’ve seen more Bitcoin payment options pop up around the globe, with SpendBitcoins.com being developed solely to support new-age business’ supporting this advancement in technology. Some of the companies notable from this list include that of NewEgg and Expedia.

Will we see this type of currency make it into the ‘mainstream’ market? It’s really hard to say. But it’s certainly nice to see a ‘global currency’ give it a red hot go. Exchange rates are the bane of any well-traveled business person or backpacker.

Have you seen a Bitcoin ATM around your area? Let us know, we’d love to start tracking them!

Source: TweakTown.

Security Experts Say That USB Security is Fundamentally Broken

The common USB stick has become the most common way of sharing and storing files on-the-go. With this in mind, a variety of malware and viruses were created in an attempt to take control of computers who do not have any security measures installed, such as antivirus software. Other means of ‘cleaning’ an USB drive would be to format its content, leading to every file being deleted along with any malware and virus program that might be present on the drive.

However, two security researchers state that security problems with USB drives run deeper than expected. They state that the “risk isn’t just in what they carry, it’s built into the core of how they work.” This is why security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell plan to present a proof-of-concept malicious software by the name of BadUSB which is stated to highlight that USB devices have long been fundamentally broken.

BadUSB can be installed on a USB device to completely take over a PC silently, alter files and even redirect the user’s internet traffic. The malware is said to be installed on the flash drive’s firmware and not the memory, which means that the code can remain hidden long after the flash memory has been erased. Also, the researchers state that there is no easy fix for the vulnerability. They say that the USB stick needs to be blocked from sharing its content with the system or, plainly said, the USB drive needs to be physically removed to stop the infection.

“You can give it to your IT security people, they scan it, delete some files, and give it back to you telling you it’s ‘clean,’” says Nohl. But unless the IT guy has the reverse engineering skills to find and analyze that firmware, “the cleaning process doesn’t even touch the files we’re talking about.”

It is said that the vulnerability is not limited to USB drives. All sort of USB devices, spanning from keyboards to smartphones and even cameras can have their firmware reprogrammed with the malware in question. The researchers have stated that they used the BadUSB program on an Android device, having a “grab bag of evil tricks” happening as a result. Nohl and Lell tell that it replaced software being installed with a corrupted or backdoored version and even impersonated a USB keyboard that suddenly started typing commands.

The researchers tell that the infection can travel both from a computer to the USB and the other way around. Matt Blaze, a computer science professor from the University of Pennsylvania, is also aware of the shallow security veil that USB drives present. He also speculates that the NSA could have made a common practice out of infecting USB devices using this approach.

Matt points to a spying device by the name of ‘Cottonmouth’, which has been revealed in one of Edward Snowden’s leaks. The device, which hid in a USB peripheral plug, was advertised in a collection of NSA internal documents as surreptitiously installing malware on a target’s machine. However, the exact mechanism for that USB attack wasn’t described.

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

Museums Classic Arcade Machines Restored With Help of Community

The UK Computer Museum in Cambridge plays home to a vast amount of classic arcade units and while many museums would never dream of restoring their items to new condition, this isn’t your average museum. The team recently decided to try and resurrect a bunch old arcade units that haven’t seen action in at least 17 years and many of them are much older than that, or have suffered heavy use until that point.

Among the pack are Space Invaders, Asteroids, Tempest, Xevious, Alien Syndrome, Centipede and more. Organiser Phillip Riscombe-Burton put a post on forums to call for help in fixing the machines, to which several volunteers answered and have already found temporary fixes for five of the eight dead machines, although they’ve said they’ll continue their work until all the machines are fully restored.

Mr Riscombe-Burton invites any members down to the museum to not only check out the exhibits and play the games there, but to also help contribute their engineering knowledge on how to get these dead ones back to life. Either way it sounds like a pretty fun place, as there aren’t many museums where you can touch the exhibits, let alone try fix them.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BBC.

Hackers Want to Make You Play ‘Doom’… on an ATM!

Normally when you hear about hackers and ATMs, you think of someone attempting to steal your credit card details or make the machine spit-out some bills. This time however, it is more fun than drama, since you can get to see how a game can be played on an ordinary ATM.

An Australian hacker named Ed Jones, who also goes by the name of Aussie50, has posted a YouTube video which shows how he is kicking off in ‘Doom’ on the ATM machine. He is stated to give some credit to his partner, Julian, who is said to have sorted out “the software, wiring and logic side”.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the achievement, such as where did he acquire the actual ATM from or, most commonly, will we able to play games on ATMs in the future. Nobody has those answers at present, but the real question is: Does it matter? No, mainly due to the fact that you don’t get to see this everyday. I mean, who doesn’t want to play Doom on an ATM?

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW5ELKTivbE[/youtube]

There have been discussions on Ed’s YouTube channel about turning the PIN pad into a controller and using the side panel to select weapons, while also discussing about making the receipt printer into a high-score note to keep after you finish your game session.

When talking about modern games, such as Minecraft for example, Ed pointed out that it is physically impossible to get them running on ATMs, mainly due to the fact that it lacks the performance needed to run them. While he can ‘upgrade’ his customized ATM if he wanted to, that would mean he would have to change about every OEM component found in the ATM.

“I could upgrade the hell out of it and play modern games, but that defeats the purpose of using all of its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) hardware with minimal modification. It lacks a PCI-E slot, so a subtle video card and RAM upgrade is not possible,” Ed stated.

Ed is stated to be thinking of introducing a coin mech below the card reader, which wouldn’t be such a bad idea. A ‘re-invention’ like this could make old games such as Doom popular again and accessible almost everywhere. Julian and Ed are not at their first wacky invention yet. They have been stated to have made Doom available previously on a LED billboard.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxIGuMif1Nk&list=UUlSOZJ7swsJqRadXieu1nlQ[/youtube]

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information

New Mini-ITX Configurations Announced By OriginPC and CyberpowerPC

OriginPC was one of the first manufacturers to offer the monstrous Titan Z card in their custom-build PCs. However, the chassis availability capable of housing the graphics card was limited, until now that is.

The manufacturer announced that NVIDIA’s Titan Z can now fit in some if its select mini-ATX cases, making the company one of the first to offer the smallest 4K PCs on the market. The mini-ATX line capable of handling the Titan Z is the Chronos lineup, having the Corsair 250D and Silverstone RVZ01 mini-ATX cases up for grabs for users wanting a small-size Titan Z configuration.

The Titan Z base configuration announced for the Chronos lineup is set to include Intel’s i5 4460 clocked at 3.2 GHz, the ASUS H97I motherboard, 8 GB of Kingston HyperX memory and a 500 GB hard disk solution, all being priced at $4600.

In addition, CyberpowerPC appears to have announced their own new small form factor PC builds with the addition of the Fang Battlebox. The small form factor case is said to be ready for travel, allowing for a small cage to be fitted inside of a hand plastic carrying case in order for users to take their builds to gaming parties or other gaming events.

Though the Battlebox is designed to be compact, the company states that the design was made with airflow in mind, having and additional option for water-cooling solutions as well, depending on the unit and selected video card. A quick swap tray for hard drives has also been fitted inside the box, having users granted a way to quickly swap between work and leisure data wherever they travel.

In terms of base specifications, the Fang Battlebox is said to one with Intel’s Core i3 4150, 8 GB of memory, 1 TB hard drive solution and integrated graphics, having CyberpowerPC pricing it at $620. Users who want more can get the Intel i7 4770K, 16 GB of memory, 2 TB of hard drive and 128 GB of SSD solutions, as well as NVIDIA’s GTX 780 configuration at the price of $1600.

Thank you Electronista for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of OriginPC and CyberpowerPC