When it comes to protecting buildings from earthquakes, the more recent the building the more likely it is to stand up thanks to advancements in both technology and structural designs to use supports and designs that will help reduce or even prevent a building being damaged. This doesn’t give you much support for the older buildings that you want to still protect, leaving you with few options to protect precious history, until the creation of carbon fiber threads that was.
Komatsu Seiren Fabric Laboratory has developed carbon fiber-based CABKOMA Strand Rods and suggests they could be used for protecting older buildings against earthquakes by tying the roof to the ground in a similar way to a tents guidelines. The fibers would allow the building to move together, ultimately keeping the roof and floors beneath it moving together.
While the idea of “anchoring” a building may sound silly, the threads are very strong and lightweight, giving you the ability to transport and make the precautions necessary to protect heritage and historical sites.
While a great idea, there are limitations. The threads won’t work in dense urban areas or on tall buildings, giving you limited use in cities but it could be the first in many steps to help save lives and buildings when an earthquake strikes.
USB hubs are nothing new and an essential tool for port multiplying which allows you to connect more devices to your system than you have ports available. This is particularly useful for mobile systems that come with very few ports on their own, but a stationary system can benefit equally from a good USB hub. In today’s review, I am taking a closer look at SilverStone’s EP03 USB 3.0 hub with built-in supercharger function and an integrated display for monitoring voltage and current on all ports.
At heart, SilverStone’s EP03 is a 4-port USB 3.0 hub capable of 5 Gbps transfer speeds. It is naturally also compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices on both the host port and the individual connectors. That in itself is nothing new, but everything else is. In fact, this is a pretty smart hub.
When you pick the EP03 hub up and hold it in your hands, you have no doubt that this is a quality built hub. It feels sturdy and it also looks pretty good with its simple plastic case and top plate made of brushed aluminium.
The top is also what instantly reveals one of the features that make this USB hub unique, the built-in display. You can watch the current and voltage in real-time on the display for each of the four ports. Port selection is handled by the small button next to the display which lets you cycle the four ports.
As the display already indicates, this isn’t just a USB hub for peripheral and drive connection, it is also an intelligent charging station that can satisfy users’ increasing demand for fast charging of power-hungry mobile devices. It can deliver 2A to each of the four ports simultaneously and is fully compliant with the USB power delivery specifications 1.2 (BC 1.2).
In addition, the built-in protection mechanism ensures the EP03 can deliver power evenly and safely according to the number or the state of battery charge of connected devices. All these features can also be used to check if a new/replacement charging cable is up to the task and comes with the proper specifications compared to your original cable.
The SilverStone EP03 comes with an AC adapter included which both ensures that you have enough current to all ports, but also allows you to use it as charging station with the use of a host system. It comes with built-in over current and over voltage protections too, so all your connected devices should be safe.
The hub is built around a Genesys Logic GL3522 chipset which actually is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 controller, but that just leaves internal headroom and ensures the best possible connection.
Integrated display for monitoring voltage and current
Supports current up to 2A for each USB port
Provides four 5Gbps Super Speed USB 3.0 USB ports
High quality brushed aluminum design
Supports over voltage and over current protection
Includes AC adapter for stable power delivery
Compliant with USB power delivery specification 1.2
Package and Accessories
SilverStone always has some great looking packages for their devices and it’s no different for this USB 3.0 hub with fast charging and power meter. It presents itself colourful to the user and begs to be taken home. I know I wouldn’t walk past it.
The rear of the box explains the features in multiple languages.
One of the sides has more details on the product itself in the form of images and text.
And the other side has all the detailed specifications. Overall, a box that tells us everything there is to know about the product inside.
Inside the box, we find a USB 3.0 cable, an AC/DC power adapter, a user guide, and the USB hub itself.
Technology has a way of scaring people, from the original fears that the TV would create a horde of mindless zombies to the argument that video games promote violence. One of the oldest fears though is with wireless technology, something that is relatively modern in the world, and the effect that it may have on our bodies given how recent its mainstream usage has become. Don’t worry though because a company has come up with some nifty underwear to help protect you from your mobile phone radiation.
Kronjuwelen (translated as “crown jewels”) is the German startup responsible for the underwear in question, a set of clothing designed specifically to protect men’s nether regions from the effects of mobile phones radiations.
The underwear itself is lined with “protective silver threads”, designed to absorb 70 percent of WiFi signals and 98% from your mobile phone. With four different sizes (but sadly only one colour) the underwear comes in at $32. The four co-founders state that they don’t want to “live with these potential risks anymore”, with the disclaimer that they are “neither radiologists, physicists, nor cancer researchers, and we cannot finally determine the risks of mobile phone radiation.”
Better safe than sorry, especially when your future family may be involved seems to be the policy behind these boxers and I’m certain that others will feel the same way. With some studies showing abnormalities in sperm counts following on from exposure to wireless signals (please note there is no scientific consensus on if wireless signals do in fact affect sperm concentrations), some people will sleep better knowing that their future is safe with a silver lining.
In its recent arguments against the FBI, Apple has found companies rallying behind its arguments that you can’t force a company to break its own protection without risking others. Even Microsoft have come out saying that forcing Apple to do so would set a dangerous precedent for technology companies everywhere. Their latest support is a little bit different, with the former heads of the NSA and Homeland supporting encryption in this case.
Michael Chertoff was the head of Homeland Security and is one of the people who helped author the Patriot Act. Mike McConnell is the former head of the NSA and both of these people, former professionals within governments security sector, have come forward expressing support for encryption technologies.
In a panel, Chertoff stated that “if we [the people and governments] ask private sector to be in control of security, then we have to allow them to have tools to carry out that mission”. Chertoff then continued to say that trust is the fundamental basis of the “internet economic engine” and that “if we don’t come to an agreement with the majority of the world [around privacy] we could end up with multiple internets and lose the value of an interconnected world”.
McConnell on the other hand, suggested that a reasonable method to address the problem wouldn’t be the public flinging match that the FBI are keen to use to their advantage but instead to form “a legislatively direction commission of leading experts to have an informed dialog with all clearances to make reasonable recommendations”. He suggests that the public and even Congress don’t have the knowledge regarding cyber security matters to make an informed decision and that public opinions and fear could lead to decisions which will do nothing but harm companies government and people alike.
Well this is, err, something, reports are circulating that under 16s could technically be banned from online services that include Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat unless they get permission from a parent. This quirk of fate if you will is all down to proposed new EU data protection rules which look set to be agreed.
So, how did we get to this? Well, new regulations would make it illegal for companies to handle data from anyone 15 years or younger without parental consent. These proposals open up a can of worms for various social media companies who have based their business models on targeting a younger audience with their products with hopes of an increased adoption of services.
The “ban” would leave millions of kids and teenagers having to ask their parents for permission to use internet services including email accounts, social media platforms and the downloading of apps. Somewhat understandably US tech groups are aiming to amend such a proposal through intense lobbying.
The proposal of new data protection regulations is much more stringent and companies must comply or face fines up to 4% of their global turnover, which could result in a massive bill for the biggest of online giants.
On the flip side, a petition has been launched by “The Diana Award Youth Board” who state that “We don’t believe young people should be required to seek their parents’ consent every time they use a new app or website.”
It is certainly bizarre and impossible to police against, it will be compelling to see the outcome of these proposed regulations.
Security is a word that has appeared more and more online when it comes to the digital world in recent years. With more and more attention drawn by everyone from presidential candidates like Donald Trump to toy companies like VTech, governments are now pushing for stricter security on their systems. The EU have since agreed upon a set of rules regarding how their countries should approach the problem and where their responsibilities lie.
The proposed legislation would mean that essential services, such as electricity management and traffic control systems would have to be able to withstand online attacks while major marketplaces like Amazon or eBay would be included with cloud-based services (things like your apps which use online storage app) would be required to ensure that their infrastructure is secure and will be legally responsible for reporting any incidents.
While teams will be set up to help coordinate responses there will be a set of rules to exchange information and support one another in regards to their capability of handling cyber security issues.
While this seems like a positive step, you have to consider this is a world where people have been open about wanting to reduce, or even remove encryption, potentially even creating back doors for ‘government’ use, you have to worry about how a European-wide system would handle matters proposed by each countries governments.
Corsair has undoubtedly dominated the closed-loop liquid cooling market for some time and provides an impressive array of products to suit a variety of form factors. However, it’s important to reiterate that the actual units are built by either Asetek or CoolIT and not Corsair. As a result, most of the CLCs around are identical apart from a few slight aesthetic adjustments. Out of all the CLCs I’ve tested so far, Corsair’s latest H100i GT and H110i GT are the most impressive due to an attractive block design, LED lighting and gorgeous textured tubing. Nevertheless, at around £90-£100, these are an expensive proposition especially when you consider the core components are almost identical to cheaper alternatives.
On the other hand, Corsair provides a fantastic 5-year warranty on the Hydro series while their competitors like the EKWB Predator 240 only offers a 2 year guarantee. This peace-of-mind is worth the extra to many customers as there is a lot of anxiety regarding liquid cooling and the catastrophic damage from leakage. Technically, Corsair will replace any damaged hardware from a pump failure, although the probability of this occurring is very small. Nevertheless, it’s great to have that extra bit of confidence when purchasing a liquid cooling product. I’ve not heard the official terms and conditions from some of the other manufacturers as replacing hardware is a costly endeavor. I honestly believe hardware companies should clearly outline their cover for any leakage and the RMA procedure.
Antec is expanding their water cooling line-up and bringing two new models to market incredibly soon. Apparently, both of the new models will arrive in Europe during late December or early January. The Antec H600 revolves around a 120mm radiator and 20mm deep heat fin array. Furthermore, the included fan opts for a blue LED and speed range between 600-2400RPM. Mostly impressively, the estimated launch price is remarkably cheap at £39.95.
At the higher end, the Antec H1200 utilizes a 240mm radiator, 20mm deep heat fin array and high quality FEP tubing. Here is a complete rundown of this product’s specification:
“High-Performance Pump with LED Status Indicator. The integrated Status LED lights up during operation
7-Blade PWM 12cm Fans with Blue LEDs, Rifle Bearing keeps it whisper-quiet, while filling your rig with blue light.
High-Performance 240mm Radiator. A complex structure of 0.28 mm thick heat fins with 1.3 mm empty space in between each of them maximize the heat dissipation
Maximum Heat Fin Surface Area: 20 mm deep heat fin array increases the surface area for a maximum heat dissipation
High-Quality FEP Tubes: With minimal moisture absorption and high thermal & kinetic tolerances for a prolonged life
Block and Pump Array: – High-density array of only 0.15 mm thin Micro Heat Channels with 0.2 mm space in between them – For whisper-quiet operation with an incredible lifetime – For maximum pump speed and cooling cycle – Heavy-Duty Graphite bearing for a long and whisper-quiet life time
Specification: – Noise Level Range of Fan: 16~35dBA – Fan Speed: 600-2400RPM – Radiator Dimensions: 271mm x 120mmx 25mm – Fan Size: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm – Tube Length: 315mm”
The H1200 is an Asetek-based unit so it should be very reliable and perform remarkably well. Given the radiator size, LED fans, and block LED, you would expect a price around £80. However, Antec is going to offer this performance CLC at £59.99!!! This is a major price cut compared to similar AIOs and a great value proposition. On the other hand, have Antec been able to offer this price due to poorer warranty terms?
The Antec rep at Overclockers UK directly addressed these concerns and said:
“If we have one leak I personally promise to come and visit you if yours leaks and I will replace all damaged components.
Trust me they WILL not leak but seriously if one does we will 100% replace any damaged components for you if it does.”
This level of customer service and honesty is admirable and I wish more companies provided a more direct answer to the leakage question. In the next few weeks, we should have a review of both units and I cannot wait to see how they perform!
Ransomware is a whole new level of problems for computer users. Previously malicious software, or malware for short, would spread causing chaos and destruction wherever it could, but ransomware is a little more targeted. Ransomware is designed to stop you from accessing your files and in order to gain access you are normally requested to pay an account a sum of money. With the kind of details you store on your computers these days, can you afford not to pay? Even the FBI say pay the ransom, but what happens when they don’t decrypt your files, granting you access which you’ve just paid a lot of money for. It’s a risk many take and many more will have to suffer thanks to the ransomware Power Worm, which forgets how to decrypt your files.
Encryption is the process in which using a key (similar to a password) you jumble up a file, making it extremely difficult to read or access without knowing the password that was used to encrypt it in the first place. Power worm does the usual, gets into the system and then encrypts your files but thanks to a NULL result in its code it forgets to store the key, meaning even if you pay its impossible to retrieve your files.
Please protect your files with regular backups on an external memory device and be careful when downloading or running any software.
Halloween is less than a week away and with sales and GOG are no stranger to sales and deals. For less than 4 days games are available for up to 80% off, so why not see if any of the following catch your interest.
So what could be scarier than being a news reporter and having to go to strange new places and find out all those deep dark secrets? How about when you get a tip, you only have to follow up right? What about when that place is a locked up mental asylum?
Outlast sees you follow out this tale in a stealth based game utilizing parkour, based on real asylums and criminal insanity. At £3.29 for the base game, and a further £1.49 for the expansion you can grab the full bundle for less than £5 and it’s well worth the experience.
The dark is a mysterious thing, it can be both intriguing and at the same time it can also make you jump and hear your heart beat through your ears. For £6.68 for the series or £4.99 for Alex Wake, and £1.69 for the American Nightmare, why not try scaring off the shadows and experiencing a story that will grip you till you leave.
Drones are a hot topic, with both laws and companies trying to catch up on an evolving and increasingly more accessible market for the public. Back in August we posted about William Meredith, a resident in the USA, who after spotting a drone flying above his property, was prompted to shoot it down.
Meredith cited his right to privacy, stating that the drone was flying above his property on an afternoon while his daughters were in the back garden playing. It would appear that the Judge, deciding on Monday that the drone did, in fact, invade his privacy, giving him a right to shoot it. The judge made this decision given the two witnesses who testified that the UAV flew below the tree line of Meredith’s property.
The drone pilot and owner, David Boggs, is less than happy with this decision, stating that the Judge completely ignored video footage of the drone flying 200 feet above the ground. Aside from this drama Meredith states that his neighbours saw the drone making several flights over his land, explaining that the video could have come from a different flight and cannot be used to prove that it was the only flight or that all of them took the same pattern.
With the law trying to catch up with technology, instances like this may soon refer to this case a president for what to do when people take action to prevent drones on their property. We do not recommend though that you start using anti-drone weaponry on anything that flies near your house.
Oh what fresh hell is this? If you thought the pitfalls of DRM (Digital Rights Management) had finally dawned on the tech industry, then well no, no it has not. Considering an initiative which has been launched by the Joint Photographic Experts Group with the aim of attempting to persuade people of the benefits of shoe-horning DRM into regular images which are found on the Internet is in fact a good idea; Hint, no it’s not.
The concept of metaphorically locking down images is technically not new when you consider the “professional version of the JPEG format which is JPEG 2000 already has a DRM extension called JPEC”. But usage of JPEG 2000 is targeted towards highly specialized applications that include medical imaging and cinema image workflows. The fore mentioned photographic experts group quite likes the idea of essentially implementing this idea and therefore “backporting DRM to legacy JPEG images.”
If someone somewhere incorporated DRM into a particular image, said digital photo could not be copied for say illustrative purposes, If that happens then the term “Fair Use” for consumers would need to be quickly redefined. An interesting fact which has been examined concerns the possible benefits of cryptography within JPEG images, this includes the possibility of “allowing the optional signing and encryption of JPEG metadata”. By doing this, it offers a potential safeguard to consumers who would have the option to “digitally sign identifying personal metadata with the aim of encrypting it against access by unauthorized users.”
From my perspective it seems rather pointless to lock down images in this way, consumers have a right to share, post and access images (legal ones) without the fear of restrictions. A perfect example of this is by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who pointed out that this could, in theory, mean consumers could be stopped from “reposting photos from an online catalogue to a Pinterest account.” What would be the point of stopping consumers from essentially offering a company free advertising by conveying their products to friends and followers.
It looks as if this notion is not up for immediate consideration, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on, you never know what could be taken seriously; just look at TPP.
Thank youeff for providing us with this information.
In recent years, technology and the law have been at heads about what is right and what is wrong. This ranges from is it legal to use drones for public use or even to deliver your amazon parcels, to the use of interception towers to track, record and locate people based on their mobile phones. Last year the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA) was passed in the UK allowing the retention and access of information to groups with little or no legal outline. The High Court seems to agree with this and has marked the law as illegal following a challenge by two MP’s.
David Davis and Tom Watson (Conservative and Labour MP’s respectively) brought about the challenge following the DRIPA’s rush through parliament under the premise of being an “emergency” bill. The High Court has now stated that both sections 1 and 2 of DRIPA are fundamentally incompatible of the British public’s to private life and the protection of their digital data and data stored about them. These rights are provided under articles 7 and 8 of the EU’s charter of fundamental human rights.
The judgement was officially given on the 17th July, a year after it was officially brought into law after receiving Royal Assent. The reason for the ruling is the unclear way in which access to data would be provided for the purposes of protecting people only, such as detecting and preventing serious crimes, or that the access of information had no legal oversight such as through a court given permission and therefore, could be accessed without limitation.
With this ruling, the law must now be rewritten before March 2016, taking into account the need for legal intervention and outlining the ways in which the information can be obtained and used.
Are you a Google Chrome user that hasn’t upgraded since Windows XP? Well, the future looks bright and full of patches! Google just announced that it will provide support for its Windows XP browser up until the end of year!
The decision apparently was made for the company to add an extra layer of security to the decommissioned operating system. Microsoft has announced on the 8th of April 2014 that it will stop providing support for its XP operating system, therefore it has been over a year since the OS received any security updates.
“At the operating system level, computers running XP are inherently in danger of being infected by malware and viruses, making it increasingly difficult for Chrome to provide a secure browsing environment. That’s why we strongly encourage everyone to update to a supported, secure operating system.” Google states in their blog post.
But why make a hassle out of it and keep updating old stuff? Because a lot of people still use it, that’s why! The number of XP users is said to still be in the millions and that means that millions of people are still using an outdated ‘protectionless’ operating system. Crazy, isn’t it? If you are one of those people, it might not be.
Google aims to keep the current XP users secure and updated, at least when they browse the Web. However, the company is not planning to do this indefinitely! Google stated that it will continue updating the XP Chrome browser up until the end of the year. After that, you’re on your own!
“We will continue to provide regular updates and security patches to Chrome on XP through the end of 2015.” Google stated in the same blog post.
How about you? Are you still using Windows XP and the Chrome browser? Do you feel more secure that Google is pushing updates to its browser client? Let us know!
ASUS’ TuF team has taken the Intel X99 motherboard and created an awesome looking and feature rich motherboard with the Sabertooth X99. The new motherboard looks great and comes with great features such as the second generation Thermal Radar, Thermal Armor, and fortified backplate.
USB 3.1 ports have obviously been added, but ASUS also added protective covers for all ports to protecting them while not being used. Also added is an exclusive and all-new technology that displays live system information on your smartphones and tablets, without even switching on the PC. Plug in your Android smartphone via the dedicated USB port on the rear IO. It can remotely turn on, restart, clear CMOS, view voltages and live system clock speeds.
All ports are protected from overvoltage, including USB sockets and audio connectors. Like the previous Sabertooth boards, this one is also built with the best of the best components such as Alloy Chokes with greater surface area, low RDSon MOSFETs, and TUF 10K Ti Caps.
USB 3.1 isn’t the only highlight on this motherboard, it also comes with support for all NVM Express options, including new 2.5-inch SSDs. There’s also plenty of storage options with 2 SATA Express and lots of SATA connections on this motherboard that’s backed by a 5-year warranty.
The X99 chipset has plenty of PCI lanes at disposal, so SLI and crossfire options should run great on this board. It also features M.2 sockets, Intel Gigabit LAN, Realtek ALC1150 8-channel audio and much more.
Thanks to ASUS for providing us with this information
Passwords are an easy and convenient way to prevent unauthorised access to our data, but it might not be the best as many recent stories have shown us. Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Beijing University of Technology have now created a new smart keyboard to improve on this flaw.
The smart keyboard can be used as any other keyboard, but it does a lot more. It is self-powered simply by collecting the energy used by the user when pressing the buttons to type and it also repels dust and dirt through the generation of a micro-current.
The really awesome feature is that it can detect who is typing and lock out unauthorized access. By measuring not only the typing speed, but also the pressure applied and typing pattern, it knows if you’re authorized. Even knowing a password to login won’t help you anymore as the keyboard will lock you out of the system. It will even store the data entered by the unauthorized user for you to evaluate when he’s running for the hills.
Thanks to cnBeta for providing us with this information
It appears that a new cybersecurity bill currently going through the Senate is considered too ‘broad’ and would grant ISPs the liberty to limit streaming services’ delivery to customers, having Netflix given as an example.
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Protection Act of 2014, which has been rallied against twice already, is said to deliver a backdoor for ISPs to destroy net neutrality, something that they have sought for a long time. Until now, the Federal Communications Commission has been the judge when it comes to net neutrality, having set ground rules in order to keep ISPs from limiting content on the Internet.
However, the bill in question appears to describe that “countermeasures” can be employed against “cybersecurity threats”, giving no specific definition to what type of information is included and can be considered a “cybersecurity threat”. This would give ISPs an ace up their sleeves, which would help them jumping over a lot of FCC rules.
“A ‘threat,’ according to the bill, is anything that makes information unavailable or less available. So, high-bandwidth uses of some types of information make other types of information that go along the same pipe less available,” Greg Nojeim, a lawyer with the Center for Democracy and Technology, stated. “A company could, as a cybersecurity countermeasure, slow down Netflix in order to make other data going across its pipes more available to users.”
A letter has been sent to Dianne Feinstein, the bill’s sponsor, having the CDT, EFF, American Civil Liberties Union and other civil liberties groups stating that the bill “arbitrarily harms average internet users”. The letter also points out that previous cybersecurity legislation considered by the Senate had some net neutrality protections defined, something that the current bill lacks.
The unsettlement caused by the bill has been said to postpone it for now, having it sent back to the Intelligence Committee for further discussions. There has been no word on any decisions regarding the bill so far.
Thank you Motherboard for providing us with this information
Corning Gorilla Glass protects iPhone displays from scratches, but when it comes to dropping the iPhone or impacts with the device’s screen, cracks will appear. Two students from the Cambridge University however have developed a screen protector that grant the iPhone full protection against these problems.
Rex Rhino Shield offers 5 times more protection than Gorilla Glass, according to the manufacturers. The screen protector is however only available for the iPhone 5 or higher.
Having only 0.028 cm thickness, it is made of a special polymer alloy that absorbs the kinetic energy from impacts, thus preventing the Kinetic force from hitting the display and creating the common cracks that people are facing when accidentally dropping their iPhone.
Below are some tests performed on this amazing screen protector, and from the looks of it, it really does its job pretty well: