Microsoft Is Suing The US Government Over Cloud Data Searches

Microsoft is but one of many technology firms that have recently moved their focus from internal hard drives to the cloud, allowing people to access their data from anywhere in the world given the right details. The problem is other people also have access to this information, both legally and illegally and Microsoft is suing the US government over their attempts to force companies to remain quiet on the matter.

Microsoft has now filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department stating that it’s not just wrong but it’s “unconstitutional” that companies should be forced to remain silent when they are asked to hand over any data you might store in the cloud. In their complaint, Microsoft says that section 2705(b) of the Electronics Communications Privacy Act “sweeps too broadly” and effectively gives the government the power to gag companies, regardless of the reasons they are investigating someone. Microsoft even went so far as to name the number of secrecy orders they’d received in the past 18 months, a huge number sitting at almost 2,600.

The best part of almost 2.6 thousand secrecy orders, was that over two-thirds would never run out thanks to them containing “no fixed end date”. The end result is clear, Microsoft wants section 2705(b) ruled as unconstitutional and removed, a judgment that would affect every technology company based on the internet these days thanks to the broad range of uses that the cloud is utilized for.

Recently Reddit removed their Warrant canary, giving users a legal warning that the government had requested access to at least some of their information (possibly). While other companies, such as Apple has been arguing with the FBI over who and where the line should be drawn for gaining access to devices and the steps they can make companies provide to open the door for them.

You Could Pay For Things With Your Facebook Messenger App Soon

Facebook let you send money to friends through the Facebook Messenger app at the moment, but you could end up being able to spend money in the messenger app as well with some news that the messenger could soon have in-store purchases.

The new feature would be included in a variety of updates and new features that could soon be making their way to the Messenger app. As a result details are scarce, but from what we can gather Facebook’s app would let you pay for goods in person, meaning it would offer the same mobile payments that Android, Apple and Samsung currently offer.

Alongside the payment feature, there is a reference to “secret conversations”, ending unfortunately at just a reference. Initial speculation states this could be a way to hide conversations within the app or even a higher form of encryption that rival apps like WhatsApp offer. The latter would make sense given the current global focus on information security and privacy.

With code further referencing syncing calendars and selective streaming of news feed statuses  to groups of friends, the ability to organise and control who sees what could see the app become a go-to for organising your day-to-day life. With no official word yet we have to take these with a pinch of salt, but the payment sending ability was hinted at in a similar fashion months before Facebook officially announced it.

Would you store your payment details on Facebook? How about organising your everyday life with Facebook’s calendars?

IRS Hacked By The Same Issue They Were Protecting People From

Last year the US Internal Revenue System revealed that they had been hacked. At first they said that up to 100,000 people were affected by the hack, only to then bump that up to 334, 000 in August. The latest figures put that closer to 724,000 and set to only get worse as it seems they have been hacked yet again.

When filing a tax return you are now required to provide the “Identity protection PIN” that you are given by the IRS. These are specific codes given to people to place on tax returns, failure to do so invalidates the tax return and the IRS will reject it. Sounds like a good idea doesn’t it? So what happens when the IRS’s record of these secret PIN’s are hacked?

Becky Wittrock, an accountant in South Dakota, went to file her tax return this year only to find that the pin had already been used to file a “large refund request” more than three weeks prior. How did the hackers get access to the PIN? Seems that if you lose your PIN you can retrieve it by logging into the IRS website. Seems this is where the problem lies, as the technology used to secure this login process is the same technology that was breached last year.

That’s right, in order to protect people from a hack the IRS used the same technology that was breached by that hack. In order to retrieve your PIN you were asked questions (known as KBA or knowledge-based authentication) such as “on which of the following streets have you lived?” and other multiple choice questions, a system that allowed a hacker to answer the questions correctly.

Seems like a big mistake for the IRS to make, costing both the government and hard working people time, money and stress because they didn’t check that their fix didn’t use the very thing that got them into trouble in the first place.

New Mortal Kombat Secrets Revealed After 20-Years!

There are many types of gamers, you have the speed runners who have to rush to complete every level improving their time with every breath they take. You have the fighters, the ones who will play online for hours and hours, finding more and more worthy foes as they topple countries and players alike. Then you get the completionist, they are driven to find every secret and every unlockable. From flushing a toy down a toilet in a horror game to games hidden in the latest hardware, they are able to find miracles and jokes alike. A series you might not expect to contain many secrets is Mortal Kombat.

Hidden within the first three games of the brutal fighting game, you can access the secret “ed boon” menu’s. The reason for this title is quite simply in that Ed Boon actually programmed in the secret menus, which were only discovered within the last few days. If this wasn’t enough, the menu’s show you options that include everything from changing names on leaderboards (best not use that in competitions), the characters different endings and in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 you can even unlock the hidden characters, see the fatalities available and even a secret “Galaga” like game.

In order to get to the menu you need to be pretty quick on the buttons and we recommend you check out the video below to find those secrets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WK1Ec-KVVQ

Dentist Tried to out YouTube Critic but Will Instead Pay Legal Fees

We all judge people, and some of us dislike people for something as simple as their job. A popular profession to be hated for being is a dentist, a profession sometimes accredited with just being there for you to inflict pain on your patients. Well in a legal case in Georgia, America a dentist has gone to court to try out a YouTuber who uploaded an investigation into the dentist that was aired by an Atlanta-area television station.

The original indictment was published in 2009 which stated, among other things, that Austin beat several patients. The assault charges, whose victims included children, was dropped as part of a plea deal after pleading guilty to six counts of Medicare fraud. The assault charges relate to when a patient would cry out or moan during a procedure (something we’ve all done when that sharp metal tool stabs into your gums), Gordan Trent Austin would tell the patient to stop making noise, only to reinforce the message if they didn’t obey with a quick strike from a dental instrument.

With the original video released in 2009, it was only back in 2015 that Austin filed a lawsuit in an attempt to sue the Youtuber for defamation, this lawsuit included a subpoena to google to identify the Youtubers identifier. Public Citizen didn’t like this though and filed a motion arguing that not only was there no case for defamation but that the statute of limitations had elapsed, so even if there was it was too late.

The hearing was scheduled to take place on Tuesday but a week before it went to court, Austin’s lawyers agreed to not only drop the case but pay $12,000 in attorneys’ fees to Public Citizen.

We’ve seen a lot of cases like this where someone seems to go to court on the off-chance that they could benefit, among them are a LARPing website being sued for “infringing patents” by importing products and the Onewheel creators who dropped their case against China-based rivals only weeks before it goes to court.

Snooper Charter Powers are Increasingly Worrying

Security is one thing, from a virus on your phone or PC to a coordinated breach and remote access that compromises your computer. While we may not want to believe them, they are the things that happen more than anyone would want and as such, people are employed to look out for any risks and report and maybe even fix them. Security researchers are essential in the world where our digital security is as important to many as locking your door. So what does the new law that the UK government want enforced mean for you? For one it’s more than often known as the Snooper Charter, and its powers could be a problem for security researchers and even you.

The typical process for security researchers upon finding a backdoor, something that can give anyone access to your system, is to check your findings with colleagues and make sure that it is, in fact, a security risk, then to alert your client, normally the creator of the software or the owner of it at least. They then report it, get a fix out and then you can reveal to the world that they need to update in order to receive this fix.
Under the snooper charter, though, even so much as revealing a backdoor could be punishable with up to 12 months in jail or a fine. For someone who spends their life finding these flaws, the risk of you exposing one created by the government, could put you not only out of a job but also out of work for good.

If that wasn’t enough, intercepting information, equipment interference (hacking) and retaining communications data would also be protected under gag orders, including those for bulk communications data collection, such as all the emails sent from your home IP.

Granting access to all your information, without having to provide anything for scrutiny. This is made all the worse by that fact that even in talking to your MP, to prove someone innocent of a crime they were falsely accused for or even in the court when you’re being charged using this information, it would become illegal to even disclose that these tactics were used to obtain the information.

With these powers and the charter as it is, not only would the government and agencies have abilities to access and obtain information with little oversight, but you would be unable to discuss or reveal that these activities even took place.

Kingsman: The Secret Service Sequel Release Date Revealed

Shaken, not stirred, the classic line from a classic spy. James Bond has gripped the nation for generations, from the golden gun to Spectre, the world of spies and villains have taken our memories and dreams. Recently though, it is the underdog that has often taken the spotlight, from the tales of Alex Rider the boy spy to the younger James bond, we’ve seen it all.

Last year we got to see what would happen if you took someone from an everyday background and made them a spy, or to be more precise a Kingsman. Soon though we could see the next tale in this saga on our screen, but sadly not as soon as some may desire.

Grossing in over $400 million, Kingsman was a surprise hit for 20th Century fox. Based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, Kingsman: The Secret Service was popular with all kinds due to its unique characters and tales, often mocking the films that it drew its inspiration from.

An initial release date for the sequel is set for June 16th, 2017.

How many times have you dreamed of being a spy? Are you fan of Kingsman and would you see its sequel Kingsman 2?

SOMA Players Unlock Games Secrets by Flushing a Toy Down a Toilet?

Some games secrets are easy to find, others are so far buried, it’s amazing anyone found them at all! The latter is especially true for players of SOMA, who have discovered that shoving a plastic toy into the toilet and flushing it, within the game of course, causes a set of numbers to appear on screen, but what does this mean?

If you find enough of these extremely obscurely hidden codes around the game, you can use them as the password for a file called _supersecrets.rar in the games installation directory. Unfortunately, these codes were so well hidden, that it was only through analysing the games files for strings of code that a user was able to uncover them all!

“Knowing two of the Code locations, I opened the laboratory map and checkted that ceiling. Voila, an Area-Trigger having a Collision Callback. It took me a while till I found out where those callbacks are handled. But once I found the place i was shocked. Only 1 line of code, no hint at the part of the password. Keeping that in mind I opened the Apartment map and looked at the toilet. Luckily again an Area-Trigger. Knowing it should be triggered by the Figure on the Table, I looked for the corresponding code in the script. Again no hint at the Password in there. But then it hit me. Both had an strangely named cLux_ command in there. So i removed the suspected command in the toilet script and tried draining the figure. Jackpot! The code went missing.”

The user managed to crack the code, and discovered just what lurks inside, a kind of in the making collection of files about the games development, some early screenshots and a few other goodies, nothing major, but credit to the developers for making it a bit of a wild adventure to discover them.

Treason Investigation For Netzpolitik.org Paused In Germany

Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister taking part in Sundays demonstration in Berlin

Secrecy and news. These things are against odds in recent years with the public being aware of just how much we do not know courtesy of the Snowden leaks. In Germany, there is an investigation into the digital rights news site Netzpolitik.org, or rather two journalists, who are charged with treason.

Earlier this year Netzpolitik published two leaked documents detailing the plans by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution to expand surveillance of social networks. The head of the German intelligence services, Hans-Georg Massen, has defended the idea of bringing criminal charges to the sites writers. It should be noted that he is also the president fo the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

The investigation began with just those responsible for the leaks but was expanded to include Netzpolitik journalists. The idea of journalists being under investigation for treason caught wind and ended with a lot of people expressing their dislike of the matter, including Correctiv.rog who not only republished the leaked documents but then reported themselves to Germany’s prosecutor general.

With politicians such as Renate Künast (leading Green MP) calling the investigation a “humiliation of the rule of law”, the matter will only continue to gather favour and the public opinion and action will impact on the government’s decisions.

The trial is currently halted courtesy of the Prosecutor general, Harald range, who has stated that he will “await the results of an internal investigation into whether the journalists from the news platform netzpolitik.org had quoted from a classified intelligence report before deciding how to proceed.”

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Sebaso.

 

Tor Users Beware – You May Not Be As Hidden As You Thought

Tor claims to allow people to connect to the internet and through their network become invisible and untrackable, this has made it very popular in recent years in which privacy online has become a big issue for both companies and home users alike. Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Qatar’s Computing Research institute have released a research paper which may change that.

By gathering the network information from a pre-determined list of hidden services in advance, they are able to analyse patterns between the hidden service and the entry guard which helps protect users and make the service “anonymous”. This means that they were able to create a unique fingerprint for each service they came across, and later able to use this to identify the service. It should be noted though that while this means you can be identified on the network, they could not decrypt the network data, that would be a task for a different service.

Quoting an “88 percent accuracy” in determining the services identity. The attacks however must come from an entry guard, which are randomly assigned amongst the many users that use the tor network and therefore reduces the chance that you would have access to the entry guard required to find a particular person. The algorithm used to identify services did so by matching the number of packets (bundles of information sent) in patterns, a technique which Tor’s project leader has openly said could be fooled by simply adding padding to the network communications.

With secrecy and online monitoring becoming publicly known, even when it’s done illegally, tools like Tor are becoming more popular amongst users who feel they might be targeted online (for good or bad reasons). In the modern world, nothing is 100% secret.

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of WonderHowto.

Enigma Machine Sells For $232,000

Famous for being used by the Germans in World War 2 the device was used to send and receive encrypted messages, and with their destruction being commonplace in order to prevent enemies from getting their hands on one, they are thought to be extremely rare. This, coupled with their famous presence during the war and the technical brilliance of the encryption used by the devices for the time have meant that they are exceptionally rare to find and even rarer to be able to acquire.

Originally estimated to sell at Sotheby’s in London for between 50 and 70 thousand, an unnamed buyer purchased the device for a grand total of £149,000. Almost three times its lower initial estimate, and over twice the upper estimate, a price that is small compared to the impact the device has had on the world.

The enigma machine is famous for being cracked by Alan Turing and the others at Bletchley park after the creation of the Colossus, a machine considered to be one of the first implementations of modern computer design.

Thank you NBC News for the information.

Image courtesy of the BBC.

Here’s How a Hack Took Down Other ‘Legitimate’ Hackers

Before we continue, you might be wondering how could there be ‘legitimate’ hackers. Well, companies such as the one that got hacked, by the name of Hacking Team, exist out there. They usually sell their hacks and services to governments or secret agencies, which make them a key ally and are allowed to continue their work. However, the latest hack proved that even they can be taken down.

Hacking Team is known for selling its services to agencies such as the FBI, DEA, Australian police, or even countries such as Bahrain, Ethiopia, and Sudan. However, the latter could not be proven since they could easily pin everything on their contractors and we all know how good governments and agencies are at denying allegations. Also, they had the ability to keep their code as well as other exploits they used in software products secure, so targeted individuals, companies or even other governments could not do anything about it.

But their operation came to and end, having their systems compromised by a hack that took over 400 GB of data, including their own source codes used for creating the spyware. This means that other developers can now use the data and patch or protect their systems in the future. Hacking Team is said to have been forced to close their company down until further notice, but it’s highly likely they will be operational again in the near future.

There is no official confirmation about who hacked the spyware company, but it is said that Wikileaks focused on latter companies in the past, so nobody can rule out their implications in this. However, sources say that the hack was performed by an independent freelance hacker, so this makes it even harder to pinpoint the attacker.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Nintendo NX May Be a Home Console

Nintendo announced a few months ago that they are working on a brand new platform called “NX”. The company hasn’t told us any more details, and never confirmed if we can expect it to be a home console or new portable system.

Recent comments made by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime caught our eye when interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve also said publicly that we are already hard at work on our next home console and that’s another element we’ll be talking about much later.”

It’s pretty obvious what this may mean, it’s a very strong hint and maybe confirmation that this all new Nintendo NX will be a console rather than a handheld device. What will it look like? what will it do? we have no idea.

With any luck, it will pack some of the features of the Wii U, but in a much more hardcore console. Nintendo is very good when it comes to consoles, but they’re nowhere near the same league as Xbox and PS4 when it comes to the latest games. They’re amazing for family and group fun but try to play a fast paced FPS on it and you may as well give up.

What do you think Nintendo are up to behind the scenes?

Thank you to NintendoEverything for providing us with this information

UK Intelligence Confirms They Can Break into Any System, Anywhere, For ANY Reason

There have been talks that the FBI will soon have permission to break into computers anywhere on the planet. However, it comes to no surprise that the UK is following the same approach, having granted similar authority to its Intelligence Services. However, the biggest surprise is that the UK Government openly admitted it has the power and liberty to do so.

The British Government has admitted its intelligence services have the broad power to hack into personal phones, computers, and communications networks, and claims they are legally justified to hack anyone, anywhere in the world, even if the target is not a threat to national security nor suspected of any crime.

This comes as a response to its ‘Open Response’ followed the court cases filed against GCHQ last year. This is what the Intelligence Services revealed, according to Privacy International:

Buried deep within the document, Government lawyers claim that while the intelligence services require authorisation to hack into the computer and mobile phones of “intelligence targets”, GCHQ is equally permitted to break into computers anywhere in the world even if they are not connected to a crime or a threat to national security.

In addition to the latter, the GCHQ openly admits and tells how it was able to hack into Gemalto’s SIM network, a story which was deemed as controversial last year.

The intelligence services assert the right to exploit communications networks in covert manoeuvres that severely undermine the security of the entire internet. The deployment of such powers is confirmed by recent news stories detailing how GCHQ hacked into Belgacom using the malware Regin, and targeted Gemalto, the world’s largest maker of SIM cards used in countries around the world.

The important part about this is not the actual information, but the fact that bringing court cases against the GCHQ has revealed more details which were previously kept as a secret. This apparently shows how effective this strategy is and how it could reveal even more secrets in the future, should it be used again.

Thank you TechDirt for providing us with this information

UK MPs Call to Recruit Mumsnet Members as Spies

Senior MPs in the UK have called for agencies like the MI6, MI5 and GCHQ to use websites like Mumsnet to recruit spies. The remarks come as part of calls to increase the number of middle-aged women and mothers working in intelligence. The Intelligence and Security Committee made the conclusions in a report, that said females make up only 19% of those in Senior positions within the MI6, MI5 and GCHQ.

The thing that has turned heads though, is the fact that Mumsnet might be a place mothers could be recruited as spies. Will GCHQ really monitor the Mumsnet forums to find the next ‘M‘? Maybe. Justine Roberts, the CEO of Mumsnet didn’t directly respond to the suggestion, other than to say “I’m afraid I’m unable to comment as I have an urgent appointment with a rock in St. James’s Park.”

So, if you’re a kid, keep an eye on your mother if ever she’s on Mumsnet, she might just be protecting our borders from Russian spies.

Source: BBC News

Apple Starts Building Mysterious Structure Outside Event Building

9to5Mac has been sent photos of a mysterious new structure being built outside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – the location of Apple’s event a week from now.

The images show a white tent-like structure that has been constructed as an extension to one of the buildings at the venue. While we don’t yet exactly know what the building will be for, our best guess is that it will be a demo area for the Apple Watch and perhaps any new products that are to be announced.

This guess, while it seems perfectly reasonable, is not without question. Apple built a similar, but substantially larger building at the Flint Center, in Cupertino for their original watch event, which has led to the suggestion that this is the same thing. But, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Flint Center did not have the space required for such an area in the first place, necessitating that Apple build it themselves. The Yerba Buena Center does have this space already though – Apple has held many events at the venue across many years, and has always had a substantially large demo area inside the building itself.

So, what is this building? Is it really just show off the watch, or is it for another product? We’ll see on March 9th.

Source: 9to5Mac

The Tesla Model S Has a James Bond ‘Easter Egg’

The Tesla Model S really is a car of the future. It has more gadgets that you can imagine and it looks like something from a movie. In fact, if James Bond didn’t spend all his time in an Aston Martin or a Lotus, he’d probably drive a Tesla.

While Bond doesn’t drive a Tesla, Elon Musk drives a Bond car. You may remember that Musk, the founder of Tesla, bought the famous submarine Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me for $866,000 a few years ago. He seemingly likes that car so much, that every Tesla Model S has a secret reference to it in its giant dashboard tablet.

If you hold the “T” logo on the dashboard, and then login with “007”, you’re greeted with the screen below, in which you’re able to choose how many ‘leagues’ under the sea you want to go down.

Source: The Verge

Cancelled Sonic 3D Game Made Playable

The 1990s was an incredible period of transition in the video game world. For the early part of the decade, Nintendo had been working on its ‘Project Reality’ with SGI, in its attempt to bring “photorealistic” 3D graphics to consoles. Sony became a newcomer to the console market, with similar ambitions. Nintendo’s efforts later became the legendary and history-making Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 and Sony’s the cult-classic Crash Bandicoot on the original PlayStation.

Meanwhile, struggling Sega was wondering how to fight back. The company was developing a game called Sonic X-treme that was to be Sega’s first fully 3D Sonic game. However, it was not to be. It’s development was not at all free from trouble, with the title eventually being cancelled.

Fortunately, a copy of the unfinished game was discovered in 2006, and now, fans have joined together to release a version that can run on Windows. Be warned though, it really is nowhere near finished. The ‘game’ is essentially a playable demo, one not free from bugs. The video below however, helps us to get an idea of what Sonic-equivalant of Super Mario 64 may have looked like.

Source: The Verge

The Wall Street Journal: Apple is Working on a Car

The Wall Street Journalperhaps the most reliable source of Apple rumours, has topped off all the recent Apple car suggestions by claiming that the company is indeed working on a car.

They state that there is a certain ‘Project Titan’ with “hundreds” of people working on it. They also say that Tim Cook approved such a project years ago. The rumoured vehicle will of course be electric, but any further specifications are scarce.

This tops off a number of rumours pointing in this direction, including the recent sighting of a supposedly driverless vehicle that was verified as being leased to Apple.

This story is developing and we’ll update it with more information as it becomes available.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Nvidia’s Secret Unveiling to Be an Android-Powered Console

Yesterday we could report that Nvidia was sending out invites to an hour-long event for an undisclosed item that will ‘redefine the future of gaming’.

New rumours and leaks now point towards what most of us had already guessed, and Android powered gaming console. The new console will most likely be powered by a Tegra X1 chip to bring a lot of performance to a compact gaming form factor.

This also fits very well into the part of being 5 years in development and Nvidia already collected a lot of experience from their Shield.

Thanks to TweakTown for providing us with this information

Is Apple Building a Driverless Car?

No that blacked out car doesn’t belong to the FBI, it belongs to Apple. Well, according to CBS it’s at least leased to Apple, but what it was doing is something we don’t yet know.

A local San Francisco Bay Area blog called Claycord first discovered the vehicle, that has an array of cameras, something similar to a Google Street View car, leading to the logical suggestion that Apple is planning to add Street View-style imagery to its mapping service. However, if you compare that car with a Street View car, you can easily see that Apple’s car has quite a bit more equipment attached to the roof.

So perhaps it’s driverless? While technology analysts and driverless car experts have suggested that it may well be, you don’t really need to be an expert to see the similarities between this other driverless cars. Heck, there’s even a video of a driverless car in New York from last year that was the exact same model, with pretty similar equipment attached to it.

Apple of course, declined to comment, but this piece of news is no doubt terribly exciting, leading many to wonder just what Apple might have up its sleeve.

Source and Image: Claycord Via: MacRumors 

BlackBerry Working With Boeing on ‘Black Phone’ That Runs Android

BlackBerry has said that it is supporting Boeing with the development of its Boeing Black Phone – a highly secure smartphone intended to be used by government and security service officials.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the company would be working with Boeing during their Friday earnings call, saying that “Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform.” He added “That, by the way, is all they allow me to say” alluding to the device’s intended high securty.

Details concerning the device are limited, with Boeing’s website offering only that it runs on Android and a number of encryption features.

  • Android Operating System: Convenient smartphone for Android usage

  • Disk Encryption: Encrypted storage for sensitive data

  • Hardware Root of Trust: Ensures software authenticity

  • Hardware Crypto Engine: Protects stored and transmitted data

  • Embedded Secure Components: Enables trusted operations

  • Trusted Platform Modules: Provides secure key storage

  • Secure Boot: Maintains device image integrity

  • Hardware Modularity: Endless modularity capabilities

Source: Gizmodo

Amazon’s Mysterious Big Box is Out Again

Remember early this year when people started seeing massive Amazon packages in parts of the US (like the one above)?

Well now they’re back, except not for promotional purposes this time. According to Re/code they’re part of a new programme the company will be unveiling next week.

“We’re excited to be making 15 special deliveries next week as part of the holiday season,”

While the previous boxes contained Nissan cars, these boxes appear to be a bit smaller, albeit still requiring a truck, so it’s intriguing as to what this could be for.

As Amazon says, there are 15 dotted around the US, so if any of you see one, send us a link to your picture in the comments.

Source: Re/code

New Nintendo 3DS Contains Secret Game

The New Nintendo 3DS, which was recently released in Japan and Australia, contains a hidden game accessible only via the web browser. Simply tap the tune of the Super Mario Bros theme on the ‘new page’ screen of the 3DS’ web browser to be greeted with this Breakout-like game.

The game allows you to break up block representations of your most visited websites.

what happens if you tap out the mario theme in the new 3DS browser?

A video posted by sam byford (@345triangle) on

Source: The Verge

Secret Artificial Intelligence Project has been In The Works for 30 Years

Cycorp look like any other research company, striving to create newer technologies in order to sell them to other companies and make life easier for people. However, the company has revealed that they were working on a piece of advanced artificial intelligence for 30 years, keeping it a secret up until now.

They have stated that the secrecy was kept by working on their own. This means no outside investments, no debts and no news about the project of course. The information which revealed the project in question has apparently been released by Cycorp, having the project near the stage where it could be ‘applicable enough’.

People’s desire for a Star Trek-like computer, namely an artificially intelligent system that could receive instructions in plain, spoken language, without the need of millions and millions of hard-coded instructions, has been on the list of ‘to-do’ things for many companies.

However, the method of user interface in question has been stated countless times to be extremely hard to achieve. Despite the latter, Cycorp aims to do this by ‘codify general human knowledge and common sense’, having computers then make use of it. They apparently have been attempting to figure out the pieces of data humans rely on daily, the knowledge required to understand the world, and represent that in a formal manner so that machines can use to reason.

Cycorp has apparently been building this ‘brain out of software’ from scratch since 1984. The product’s name is called Cyc and it is allegedly not ‘programmed’ in the conventional sense, but more like ‘taught’. Building a computer software is more of a procedure-like approach, using flowcharts for example as guidelines and specifications on what the actual piece of software is to perform. Cycorp describes Cyc to be built more like educating a child, having to teach it things.

For example, Cyc is able to see “the white space rather than the black space in what everyone reads and writes to each other.” This gives Cyc the ability to comprehend and reason with things deemed achievable only by humans. Also, given that Cyc has a vast knowledge of everything, it could soon be installed as a normal operating system on almost everything, including robots.

The company has stated that Cyc is currently being used to teach math for sixth graders. While the program understands the math, it listens to what students have to say and performs diagnostics on their confusion. With this, it is then able to figure out what behaviour it can carry out that would be most useful in aiding them understand things.

Though teaching math is nothing special, it is just an example of what Cyc is able to do, having to emphasise its radical technique in approaching a problem and solving it based on individual and unique analytical resolutions.

Thank you Business Insider for providing us with this information