We all use WiFi at some point, be it at work or at home, we rely on the technology to avoid the miles and miles of cables that we would overwise have to plug and unplug every time we wanted to grab a drink or watch a movie on Netflix. Researchers may have developed a way to accurately calculate distance through WiFi, a feature that could see wireless communications made more secure and controlled.
Researchers from MIT’s CSAIL team managed to achieve the feat using just a single router by measuring the “time of flight” for the WiFi signals between both the transmitter and receiving components, with a margin of error of just 0.5 nanoseconds, 20 times more accurate that other systems. Once the time was calculated they multiplied it by the speed of light, resulting in the distance between people and their wireless routers.
Using a four room apartment as an example, the researchers managed to locate the correct room for a user 94% of the time. Not stopping there the researchers took the technology to a cafe and managed to track down if someone was within the cafe with a 97% accuracy. Not stopping at wireless routers the technique was then applied to a drone, restricting the distance of the drone from the operator with an error margin of just 2-inches.
With the ability to limit or restrict access to a network by a user’s distance, public networks, and drones could be made more secure and with greater control of who, and where, people can access the systems.
TP-Link is one of the largest routers manufacturers, offering hardware choices to people all over the world. Libre Planet, however, found that they may also be the first to start locking down their firmware, their evidence being the support conversation that shows TP-Link are starting to lock down the installation of open source and custom firmware on their devices.
TP-Link state that they are doing this in order to comply with FCC regulations regarding customizations on wireless routers, the very thing we were told wouldn’t happen! The result could be that third-party software, many of which are open-source, would become illegal if you attempted to place them on your router, something many do due to the support, features and quick security updates often found in open source software.
Do you customise your router’s software? Do you think it’s a good idea for people to be able to do this or is it a better idea to ensure everyone uses the same software?
We all love the internet, from the ability to check up on your friends the other side of the world to the ability to read your favourite news sites while on the go. The problem though is that you often find yourself looking for a connection, be it from your mobile service provider or a nearby router. New Yorkers won’t have that problem later this year as they look to give you access to WiFi from their buses.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking to deploy the first 70 buses which will be equipped with WiFi in the second or third quarter of this year. Currently, the MTA expect the new buses to expand, with 18 buses’ coming to Manhattan, 70 in Brooklyn and 209 in the Bronx area alone.
Alongside the WiFi feature, the new buses will include LCD screens to bring you the latest information and 55 USB charging ports, for those times when your phone is about to die before a busy meeting.
While the new buses are a new feature and will replace up to 40% of the buses currently running under MTA, their old buses will also be updated with WiFi and USB ports, meaning that no matter which bus you get, eventually you’ll be able to charge your phone and finish your episode on Netflix without having to be late to your friends party.
FBI this, FBI that. It would seem that the FBI just can’t help but keep out of the news these days with Apple Vs the FBI seeming to turn companies against the government, but this is not the only case where the FBI is having trouble. The other case is when they were able to hack over 1,000 computers on the infamous Tor network, leading to a series of convictions. The Judge presiding over the case has now stated that the defence lawyer should be provided with the code used to hack their computers.
Colin Fieman is the federal public defender working on the case and has requested that they are given access to a copy of the code used to identify his client. In a response to Motherboard, Fieman stated that the code would include “everything”, including the methods used to bypass security features of the Tor Browser.
Vlad Tsyrklevith is the defence’s consulted expert on code and he has since received the “code” used, but it seems that the FBI were holding out with several key elements missing from the code. This included the exploit used to break into the defendant’s computer, a key feature that should be provided in the case with the agreement that “subject to the terms of the protective order currently in place” they would have access to the code used to identify and potentially, charge, the defendant.
It would seem the FBI can’t stop getting caught short, with this case drawing criticism because of the use of a single warrant to hack an unknown number of computers located around the world. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the FBI hadn’t kept the site which contained illegal materials online, effectively meaning that the FBI were distributing the same thing they are now prosecuting people for.
One of the things that you associate with America is the street cars, the little red trams that run down steep roads and ring that bell as they approach. With an estimated cost of $2.5 billion, the new tram system will run between Astoria, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn at around 16 miles in length. Named the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX for short), the new streetcar is estimated to take around three years in design with another four to build. With 7 years before you can ride the new system, 2020 will be a busy year for electric vehicles in new york.
With the average speed of the proposed streetcars being just 11.3mph, while not speedy you will get great views and reduced carbon emissions as you ride along the route shown above.
With some questioning why they are creating a new form of transport rather than adding dedicated bus routes along the waterfront, the new plans are already under fire before they even begin. What do you prefer? A new bus or do you think transport like streetcars are underrated?
The Federal Aviation Administration has been talking recently about their plans for drone owners to have to register, recently releasing details about the system and then outlining the criminal charges that will be placed on people should they not follow the new rules. The FAA confirmed on the 18th December that model aircraft’s name and home addresses will be publicly available.
In its current state, the system does not release names and addresses. They have expressed that the system will be modified so that the public can search registration numbers, ultimately revealing the name and address of the a particular drone.
With the ability to search a registration number and find out their details, from their response to Forbes writer John Goglia, you would not be able to search by name or address so unless you have the drone’s number you are not going to be able to find someone’s details (or track a drone down based on the owner’s details).
Of course this revelation is slightly worrying for a lot of people, they are now able to have their details exposed by a legal requirement. It would be on par to getting people to reveal their identity for driving licenses or publicly revealing the owner of registered guns.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics advised its members that they are looking for legal and political ways to stop the registry or change the way it is being conducted, given that they are about to expose a majority of their members details to the public.
DJI is a company known for their drones, the recognisable phantom 3 is one of their models after all. While the public seek to use these drones more and more, with everything from wedding videos to football games recorded, it is no surprise that DJI just announced their latest model, Agras.
The Agras-1 is designed to help with crop spraying, with an impressive resume of being able to cover anywhere between seven and ten acres with a tank holding around ten litres of liquid. While impressive stats the more impressive features such as a microwave radar which scans the ground, this lets it automatically adjust and moderate the amount it sprays. Flying at eight metres per second, the drone is not only fast but also durable with both anti-corrosive and waterproofing measures designed to keep the drone in flight during even some little rain.
With the ability to fly manually or automatically, the drone is set to help out farmers by not only automatically crop spraying but with the eventual attachment of sensors feeding back information on the crops and farmland. Costing roughly $15,000 (approximately £9937.20) according to DJI’s comments to the wall street journal it comes in a little higher than the average consumer drone.
Drones are advancing at a rapid rate, with companies and the public alike looking to use them for a variety of reasons. Sadly with all new technologies coming into the public domain, there are a few issues. Most recently there was an incident when a drone crashed into a power line in Hollywood, cutting off power to almost 700 people. This has only added more fuel to the fire for people who want to get all drones registered, an idea which was received with skepticism and dread. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now started to clarify some details regarding their plans.
Companies have already popped up stating that they would help users register their drones with the FAA, making that one less task to worry about when you purchase your new piece of tech. The FAA has responded by announcing that users won’t need to work with a company to register as the task will be simple. They state in the post that users should wait till later in the month when more details will be announced before they part with even more of their hard-earned money.
With drones being augmented and adjusted by the general public, do you think it’s a good idea to register the devices? If so, how easy would you want it to be before it becomes unnecessary work?
For many 2015 is the year of dreams. I mean that because this is the year we all have hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoelaces. I am of course referring to the 30th Anniversary of the ever-popular film Back to the Future. This is, of course, inspiring all kinds of attention, from Nike announcing last year that they would release actual self-tying shoelaces and Pepsi are even releasing the future Pepsi bottom seen in the second film. Sadly though if you want to get the third in this trio of items and live in the UK we have bad news for you.
The metropolitan police today tweeted (yes that’s how we get our laws these days), that using a hoverboard on public roads or pavements is actually illegal. The only place you could ride such a device would be on private property with the express permission of the property owner, so for a large majority of the UK that means using a hoverboard to get to work just won’t be possible.
The news only gets worse with this ruling also applying to self-balancing scooters such as segways or the handleless version called a Swagway. As these are motorised and have no license you can’t ride them on the road or the pavement it would seem.
The law that makes this impossible? Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, that’s right it is 180 years old and is stopping us from driving our hoverboards to work. Even worse if you live in Scotland as it breaches the 181-year section 129(5) of the Roads act.
E-sports are becoming more and more of a publicly known event, it used to be that players would gather around with their friends and watch their teams fight out through their web browser. There have been documentaries about e-sports in the cinema and now tournaments are also backed by crowd funding events, making their prices and people’s interest in the events seem to grow day by day. Now it would seem that you may soon be able to watch your favourite teams fight out on your TV.
Fox Sports, one of the main broadcasters of sports in Australia, have hidden in their schedule a slot for none other than the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament that starts on Tuesday. While it is common for e-sports to have some representation in the media, it will be the first time that Counter-Strike matches have been shown in full, and not just in a highlight reel, on TV.
With international tournaments picking up speed, with games like Heroes of the Storm and Smite joining the likes of Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Dota with large prize pools and even larger audiences, could you soon see a mainstream channel dedicated to all of your favorite e-sports games?
Think about how many times you see that buses pass you, is it once a day or do you see it every hour like clockwork? Proterra, a new start-up, looks to help cities run a cleaner service by replacing those old petrol based buses with a new electric bus.
With the bus allowing automated docking with a charger, and with the charger looking to take at most five minutes, it could see that bus running the same schedule with almost none of the pollution. Currently, they have recorded a single charge lasting as much as 258 miles, a little longer than just popping down to the shops.
With towns and cities replacing their old petrol buses for new hybrid vehicles with a mixture of electric and petrol, we could maybe see cities push out petrol all together in their public transport.
Could you see your daily bus route running green and silent? Would you be willing to wait a few minutes at the start of your journey knowing it’s going to be cheaper and nicer on the environment?
Titled WEpods, the small shuttles can fix up to six people in and are planned to run between two towns in the Netherlands. Ede and Waegeningen are about seventeen-minute drives away from one another, with the latter being a large center for farming and agricultural research thanks to its university.
The buses will be designed to go at roughly 15 miles per hour and will have a real person monitoring via camera so that if anything goes wrong they will be able to quickly respond. Set to be the first permanent public use of an automated vehicle without a dedicated human presence, the project hopes to launch on the 30th November this year.
Would you be excited by a similar project coming to where you live? Would you feel safe in a bus without a driver or would you prefer to have someone there just in case?
Browsing online became a service that people watched more carefully after Edward Snowden revealed the extent at which our online activity was being monitored, from every web address to the very content of our private and confidential emails, we were being watched. A library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, decided that in order to support the public and their online activity it would allow its users to use the Tor Service. Tor operates by bouncing your internet traffic around the world, sending it from one place to another essentially masking their online activity and making it very difficult to track down the source of online activity. After they received an email, though, the library have since decided to take another look at this policy.
The email in question comes from the DHS, the department of Homeland Security, who got in contact with the local police who then contacted the library. The initial worries that were raised and have caused the service to be halted was in the end its ability to be used for illegal means.
While the first library for the scheme, many others have apparently expressed interest in supporting the freedom that anonymous browsing would provide its patrons. Would you as a library goer like knowing that your being tracked? What about when you’re at home? Do the risks outweigh the benefits or is there a bigger problem we need to address before we block public use of systems like Tor?
I’m not sure this concept is particularly sane, a group of architects revolutionary idea centres on replacing run of the mill trains with high-speed travelators.
According to the architecture practice NBBJ who envisage a future where trains are replaced on the line’s 17 miles of track with three speeds of travelators, the result according to them would be a “considerably quicker, more enjoyable and healthier journey”. Below is the concept artwork for this idea of three travelators which would run alongside each other at various speeds, this is from walking speeds of 3mph to a top speed of 15mph. Commuters would therefore move between three moving conveyor belts which would in theory increase their speed each time.
What is compelling is there are more than 114 million people who use the circle line each year, this makes it one of the most congested lines in London and the company reckons commuters would in theory travel faster on foot than on conventional public transport. There are two separate narrative thought patterns when contemplating such a vision, the pro side would be a healthier and spacious environment with which to reach a destination, after all, trains are known for being hot and rather uncomfortable even at the best of times. The negative side would be how safely you could travel on foot without injuring yourself or others, moving onto a 15 mile an hour platform would be rather interesting.
It’s radical and would require a complete redesign of the transport infrastructure, one school of thought would be as the population increases year on year, eventually public transport would reach its limit despite a drive for expansion by successive governments and alternatives would therefore need to be considered. This concept may not be the best solution, but it would be very entertaining to Wizz to your destination, especially if you laid down for a nap while on the conveyor belts.
Thank youcityam for providing us with this information.
Google just made some of its cloud computing software broadly available. Since there is more demand for services that let you work with applications packaged in containers, Google pushed its Container Engine from alpha into beta. Also, the Container Registry service that stores Docker container images has been made widely available.
Up until now, a lot of businesses relied on virtual machines to run a variety of applications. But times and tech are changing, so a better alternative to traditional virtual machines was bound to crop up sooner or later. This is why Google and other cloud storage providers are now interested in packaged apps running on cloud services.
The Google Container Engine is said to run on Kubernetes open-source container management software, having the ability to deploy containers on a variety of public could services. There have been a few major tweaks done since it was in alpha and now Google is only focusing on updating the Kubernetes code rather than the whole engine once new patches roll out. Also, debugging is said to be as easy as ticking a checkbox, so developers will be able to easily identify and fix issues that might occur.
In terms of pricing, Google offers its Cloud Engine for only $0.15 per hour for standard clusters with up to 100 virtual machines and managed uptime. The basic clusters will stay the same, but users will be able to have only up to 5 virtual machines and no managed uptime.
Thank you VentureBeat for providing us with this information
The Office of Personal Management is basically the human resources division for the American government, and while the government first addressed the breach they stated that details for approximately four million people were exposed, including dates of birth, addresses and the social security numbers.
The problem is, it may be a lot worse. SF-86 forms are used to conduct background checks for security clearance, and like you would expect on these forms they contain a whole spread of sensitive information, not only about the applicant but also their family and friends. This means the level of information revealed, accessed and possibly copied in the breach could be a lot worse than first admitted.
Initial reports stated that EINSTEIN, the governments hack detection software detected the breach. According to the Wall Street Journal today, however, it would seem that the breach was actually discovered during a sales demonstration by a company looking to show off its forensics product. So not only was the breach undersold to the public, but it looks like the governments detection software was beaten in a sales presentation.
If the new reports are true, everything from a person’s family’s names and addresses and medical details could be in the hand of the very people they are meant to be protected from. This could be the start of a very painful message that governments need to work harder to protect the people they serve, both offline and online.
Tinder made quite a bit of progress lately, especially on its subscription side. However, the Facebook integration doesn’t seem to be enough for the company, which now aims to roll out a new update that adds Instagram support to its growing ‘swipy’ world.
The latest Tinder update is said to let you swipe through Instagram photos, with support of up to 34 photos and videos for each account. The company has even integrated so as to redirect you to the person’s Instagram profile upon tapping a picture, providing he or she has the profile public.
Instagram is said to provide Tinder users with a better overview of how socially connected you are to the person you are about to swipe. Up until now, the Facebook integration showed you the friends you have in common with the person you are viewing, but it wasn’t enough to get you a match. Tinder aims to bring a more detailed feature that lets you have a glimpse of who that person is and hopes to bring better matches in the future.
Tinder has also announced that the integration will be available for both free and pro subscribers, so if you either use the app just for a laugh or hope to find your other half, you can still fiddle with the company’s latest feature. But let’s be honest about it, who uses Tinder as a professional dating app? Do you?
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
One of the golden rules of social media promotion and engagement is fully based around asking fans for their opinions. It’s commonly seen throughout all different kinds of pages, ranging from celebrities to technology manufacturers and automotive brands. However, the scientists at McGill University in Montreal and Carnegie Mellon Universities researchers have found that less than five percent of popular Social Media’s platform, Twitter, are over 65. Showing in their findings that 18-29 year olds make up over 30 percent of the population, giving them the cast majority over others.
Comparing these findings to Pintrest, they have discovered that it is a mainly Female dominated audience and LinkedIn is populated mainly by rich post-graduates and lastly, their findings have found that Facebook is made up of more diverse populations, with data hard to receive.
What they’re getting at here is, asking a public opinion on one or many social media’s cannot give you a general ‘Public Opinion’ on a product, person, event or object. Each platform generally holds a heavy bias towards one section of our society, making opinions expressed on these generally skewed toward a certain left or right field. Unless however, you ask questions that are targeted specifically at these audiences, giving pages involving just those with youth affairs a higher chance most commonly.
Many opinions expressed loudly on social media can give the illusion of popular opinion, but you may come to find that the reason you’re seeing the same content so much is because you’ve surrounded yourself by like-minded individuals.
Twitter’s new Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Noto, has failed miserably in using Twitter itself.
He posted the Tweet:
“I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16 — we will need to sell him. i have a plan”
He’s now of course removed it, but still means he has an important Twitter lesson to learn – don’t tweet private and confidential information about your company’s acquisition plans.
For many of us, Tweeting something accidentally can be nothing but a simple mishap, with no further repercussions, but for the Chief Financial Officer to leak sensitive information about a potential acquisition at a multinational corporation, that’s another story.
Business Insider’s article on this story has an interesting look at how this indicates Twitter may be too tricky to use, and could be better. They point to the story of an American Congressman whose career pretty much collapsed after he posted naked pictures on Twitter, when he was trying to send them in a direct message.
Twitter has now started publishing your favorite tweets to followers timelines – whether you’re mentioned or not. This is something similar to what we’re seeing more and more of on Facebook over the recent months – and we’re unsure if Twitter is doing this as a trial or as a long term feature.
Twitter hasn’t published any release to the public saying why exactly this change has taken place, but as we said above it mirrors something that Facebook has been implementing more and more of in recent times. All of this is seemingly to keep users actively engaged in the social media companies services, therefore generating them more profit in the end.
What do you use favorites for? You could say we’re in a Facebook dominated social media society – so are you using them as a replacement for ‘likes’ or are you using them to simply bookmark tweets or information for later use? Unfortunately if you’re part of the latter crowd, your bookmarks may now no longer be privately available to only you given this move.
Do you like this move, or are you one of those upset by the changes? As with all Social Media changes, there are often strong opinions on each side of the fence.
Mozilla officials have warned about a possible leak of email addresses and cryptographically protected passwords belonging to Mozilla developers last Friday. It is said that a database glitch occurred, which could have been the work of some hackers, and lead to some private information leaking online.
An estimated number of 76,000 email addresses and 4,000 password hashes are said to have been on a public server for about 30 days, starting from the 23rd of June. There appears to be no indication of the data being accessed, according to the officials, but they cannot rule out the possibility of the data being compromised.
“We are known for our commitment to privacy and security, and we are deeply sorry for any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you,” director of developer relations, Stormy Peters, and operations security manager, Joe Stevensen, said in an official statement.
Although hackers who might have cracked the hashes cannot access the Mozilla Developer Network accounts, they might still be able to access other user accounts that are secured with the same password. The incident is said to have been caused when a data “sanitization” process failed, resulting in having the addresses and passwords dumped onto a publicly accessible server.
Multiple tweets from the digital library site Cryptome indicates that further, if not all, of Edward Snowden’s NSA files will be published later on this month. Vague ‘predictions’ on the site indicate that “during July all Snowden docs released”, followed by “July is when war begins unless headed off by Snowden full release of crippling intel. After war begins not a chance of release,”.
Other indications from Cryptome point to two upcoming events, the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) event in New York City starting July 18, and the Aspen Institute’s yearly Security Forum following after the previous event, where former NSA directors Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden have been stated to attend. Former United States Department of Defense staff person, Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” during the Vietnam War, is rumored to have a role in the possible Cryptome release. He is apparently scheduled to a keynote address at HOPE, having Cryptome tweeting that whoever wants more information about the Snowden docs should stayed tuned to that event for his speech and another from a ‘special’ guest.
In addition to the given information, it appears that a journalist from Vocativ has been in contact with Cryptome in order to get more details. His correspondence with the founder of Cryptome appears to have a back and forth approach to whether or not the events will be the point of release for the Snowden documents. There is however a reference to a ‘kick-spy’ Kickstarter camping started by the site last month, having raised already over $14,000.
A more interesting statement is seen at the end of the correspondence, where it says that “all of the documents will be released to kickstart the war on terrorism, in Iraq, in Iran, in North Korea, in the Holy Land, across Africa, Caribbean Drug Sea, the US-Mexican border, and the areas of operations always on alert in DC, Fort Meade and Colorado Springs.”
Vocativ has also released an article based on the given information. The most notable fact in the given article is said to be that Cryptome’s founder “has also ducked inquiries about how (or from whom) Cryptome received the document,” and “did not respond directly to questions about what the content of those leaked documents would reveal, other than to say that there may exist some ‘technical documents’ used ‘to combat technology’ of spying well beyond those promoted for ‘public debate’.”.
Thank you RT for providing us with this information Image courtesy of RT
Whenever you are in a metropolitan area, having lots of shops, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. most likely means free Wi-Fi. The only big downside is the endless process of connecting to it. Apparently Google is looking to simplify this process with an app that automatically authenticates the user whenever a free Wi-Fi is available.
Reports say that Google has already begun the takeover of Starbucks franchises all around the US by replacing AT&T as the official Wi-Fi provider inside the coffee shop franchise stores. However, logging into Google’s network will still require authentication.
Google has thought of this impediment and came up with the idea of developing an app which can retain the Google account information between session and logging the user in automatically once the smarthpone detects a hotspot. The app is said to be released for both iOS and Android platforms, having no news on whether or not they will consider the Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 platform at the moment.
Even so, the app is still in the development stages and might not even be released. Though, the idea is pretty interesting and useful since people spend a lot of time attempting to connect to free wireless connections.
Thank you BGR for providing us with this information
Over the last few years, the concept of cloud storage has been growing rapidly around the globe. As you may imagine, there are a large number of applications for cloud storage, be it for a small set of personal files that are kept on the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive; to the hosting of entire websites on cloud servers, but there is one area where many users see a flaw in this concept – security. Before I get on to the reason why some people are put off the cloud, its worth noting that it has a huge number of advantages. Firstly, when we start at the smaller scale options and look at the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive, there is the obvious advantage that you can access your files wherever you are with ease. I personally use both Dropbox and Google Drive for on the go storage and with the added factor of being able to access both services from my Nexus 4 smart phone, I’ve not go to worry constantly about having to copy files to a flash drive so that I can access them at home. With the cloud, as soon as I save them in the respective online folders, they are almost instantly available at home.
Looking at more of a larger scale, there is cloud web-hosting. Now obviously the internet is online, but for the most part, the website that you are accessing, such as us at eTeknix for example, is stored on a single server in a single data centre. Whilst there is a certain element of redundancy with the likes of RAID10 drives setups in place and of course backups are taken care of, what happens when the data centres link is lost to the outside world? It’s quite simple, the site goes down. Downtime for us is something that we dread and cloud web-hosting is built to solve this conundrum. With cloud hosting, a website is stored on a number of different servers that are located in different data centres – the result of this is near 100% uptime.
Bringing all this back down to earth and to the home, I will now refer back to the [above mentioned] worry that many people have when it comes to cloud file storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive – Security. When you upload a file to the cloud, how can you be sure that someone else has not had access to your data? After all you are not able to pinpoint exactly where your files are being stored at any given point. This whole worry over security and knowing where your files are being stored is what has driven Western Digital to come up with a simple, affordable solution. Bring forward the My Cloud.
The My Cloud comes with a very concise set of accessories, there is simply a quick setup guide, Ethernet cable and a power adaptor with UK an EU tips – no bits of unnecessary paperwork to be found here.