Short URL Addresses May Be Creating Easy Paths To Spy On Your Data

We’ve all seen those huge URL’s, be it for a website or a document you have saved in the cloud, they just seem to go on and on with no sign of ever stopping. Then you spot the tiny URL they offer you instead, short and sweet with only a few letters and numbers to copy and paste before you can open your document anywhere you want. Why not use it? well for starters that small URL may be creating just as easy a path to spy on your data!

Research conducted by Martin Georgiev and Vitaly Shmatikov suggest that looking at the abbreviated “short URL’s” used by companies such as Google, Microsoft, and even bit.ly, a company dedicated to creating and sharing short URL addresses, revealed that using a simple trial and error method they were able to gain access to your cloud storage files.

In particular, Georgiev and Shmatikov were able to find and access files shared through Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive with short URLs. If this wasn’t scary enough, someone could place malicious code in the files that had write permissions enabled, allowing them to infect and spread their effect all through one of your files stored in the cloud. Estimating that around 7 percent of the accounts on OneDrive and Google Drive they scanned were vulnerable to this flaw, it’s scary, to say the least.

More worrying may be companies differing responses to be being alerted about this result, with Google doubling the character length of their short URLs, while Microsoft stated that the vulnerability “does not currently warrant an MRSC case”, while quietly removing the short link function on OneDrive so not to expose others to the problem while they no doubt investigate.

Overwatch’s Animated Short Could Reveal More Than a Backstory

In the modern-day and age, marketing materials make a game as much as the actual game itself. Some companies have learnt from this and Blizzard are no exception with the release of their latest animated short film showing us a little bit of story and a teaser of what’s to come. The animated short, titled Recall follows the story of Winston, the super-intelligent gorilla.

The animated short contains not just Winston but also Reaper, a crowd favourite thanks to his dark shotgun’s and teleporting abilities. Winston, on the other hand, is all about his technology, with his main weapon the Tesla Cannon showing enemies a good time while his jetpack and “barrier projector” (let’s call it a shield) all debuting in the short alongside the “primal rage”.

The short includes more than meets the eye on the first pass. With a screen showing a list of Overwatch members, 14 of which we haven’t seen since the early concept art was revealed for the game. With the game set to release in May, will we see more characters before then or will we have to wait for till after its release to start enjoying some of the characters that have been promised to players (at no extra cost we might add)?

Have you played Overwatch? Are you excited and who do you think should get a short film next? Until then we will leave you with the Cinematic trailer for the game

Excessive Computer Use Causes Burst Blood Vessels in Mans Eyes

We as humans are increasingly living in a dependent digital age whereby we are immersed in gadgets. Laptops, tablets and even that latest 60-inch television you thought would fit into your living room, it’s impossible to have a break. You may want to take note of this story of an unfortunate man who burst blood vessels in his eyes after working for long periods at a time while using a computer.

Wuhan Evening News are reporting that 30-year-old Lee Chong noticed that his vision had become blurry, he went to the hospital where doctors informed him that he had in fact burst blood vessels in his eyes. The unlucky gentleman had what is known and is written as -8.00-dioptres high myopia, now, after researching this it seems to be extremely severe considering high myopia is usually described on glasses and contact lenses at around -6.00D (dioptres). If you’re wondering, Myopia is often known as “being short-sighted” and it causes your vision to be blurry in the distance but clearer when looking at things up close.

The cause, in this case, seems to be a combination of staying up for long periods of time coupled with exposure from gadgets. It just goes to show your eyes would benefit from periods of rest instead of being bombarded by the glare of the screen.

Remember to take breaks folks, last thing you want is this!

Windows Phone’s ‘Cortana’ Personal Assistant Leaked In Short Video

Previous reports highlight that Microsoft is working on a personal assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri or Google Now, for the Windows Phone platform. Previous reports say that it is codenamed “Cortana” after the advanced AI seen in Microsoft’s Halo game series.

The latest rumors and leaks about it comes in the form of a video which is said to show off a fragment of Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant feature. Unfortunately, the video quality is very poor. The person filming it shot only part of the screen as you can see, and to make matters worse, he did not even paused the track playing in the background, so you can barely hear the personal assistant’s voice. It seems to be giving some sort of navigation instructions.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WenVxycrvk[/youtube]

There are sounds and image features that leads us to think that it is a Windows Phone platform, such as the dings that alert the beginning and end of a voice action, and the typography patch the Segoe UI font found on all of Microsoft’s Metro UI. There is not a lot to go on here, but if this is real, it shows what we should expect from the ‘Cortana’ project Windows is working on.

We still are looking forward for it to be shown off in April along with Windows Phone 8.1. We hope to see it perform at least simple search queries, navigation, appointments, etc.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of Phonearena

Apple’s Retina iPad Minis Rumored To Have Limited Stock Availability

It seems Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed another rumor when asked about the availability of the iPad mini with Retina display. Cook said that the new model will start shipping “later in November,” but that it’s “unclear whether we’ll have enough for the quarter or not”. Cook quickly pointed out that “we know how many we’ll have,” but that it’s difficult to predict demand for a product until it starts shipping. He seemed to be confirming persistent rumors that the Retina mini would be in short supply during the holiday shopping season.

Although Cook insisted that “we’ll do fairly well with iPad,” and that Apple will have a “really great holiday season,” the company may have reason to be concerned about not being able to meet demand for the new model. As reported earlier, iPad sales were flat compared to the same period last year, even while competitors are seeing major growth in tablet sales. Apple has seen its share of the total tablet market drop from 60 percent a year ago to just 32 percent today.

Apple is hoping, according to Cook, for “an iPad Christmas,” but it may be one that many customers will have to celebrate without the company’s most notable new model.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Angry Birds short cartoon series due to launch March 16th

Angry Birds is one of the most successful mobile games going in recent years and its franchise has grown and grown to more than just game downloads. We first saw the plush stuffed toys, then t-shirst, mugs, hats, phone cases, the list just goes on and its going to stop there. Rovio, the games maker has announced that that game is now going to have its own TV show, coincidently named “Angry Birds Toons” is due to hit our screens on 16th March and will be pretty much as you could imagine if you know the game.

Launched way back in December 2009 originally for iOS, the game has streached way past the point that anyone could have imagined and now there are six main game titles, a spin off game and dubbed as “one of the most mainstream games out right now”, it has seem well over 1 billion downloads happen across all its compatible platforms that include PCs, Android, Windows Phone, iOS, games consoles and Symbian.

Angry Birds has also become the biggest mobile phone app that the world has seen so far and unless something goes horribly wrong for Rovio, this isn’t going to change any time soon.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/w5px1IbyAjw[/youtube]

There is no definite answer as the where and when the show be available to view means other than the shows official site, but we do know so far that there will be 52, 3-minute episodes that will run for the first series, but it looks like this is not where the line will be drawn. Rumours are flowing after the company has given word that there is a movie in the works as well. Believe it or not this is not a joke, as the little birds are due to smash on to the big screen in full 3D in 2016.

Is this all a step too far or will we all eventually absorbed in to Piggy Island where the show is set and end become one with Bomb Bird or King Pig? Time will tell, but for now, just have a look at the trailer above and decide for yourself if you think this is going to go big or end up smashing through the floor.