Is There a Connection Between ISIS and UK Government IP addresses?

Information has been both circulating and updating over the last 48 hours concerning a possible link “that a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to IP addresses from the Department of Work and Pensions” This possible connection has been traced and subsequently exposed by well-known hacking group VandaSec.

Reports have also stated that, as is the norm in the digital age, been unearthed by four teenage computer hackers who claim to have traced “IP addresses from their supposed Saudi Arabia location back to the United Kingdom’s Department of Work and Pensions after using a set of specialized tools to track the IP addresses”. These accounts are at first glance noteworthy due to being utilised to recruit new ISIS members online.

It’s a conspiracy! Probably not, after further analyses by an external source, it has so far been concluded that these IP addresses were part of an unpublicized set of transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. It has been discovered that the British government sold a large number of IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms (Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications Company). After the sale had been finalised around October of this year (2015) extremists piggybacked onto these and utilized the protocol to spread the standard message synonymous with the group.

Jamie Turner, an expert from a firm by the name of PCA Predict, confirmed the trace back to the UK government was more obvious than first thought owning to the fact that records for the IPs had not as yet been fully updated.

At the very least it’s certainly embarrassing for Whitehall, yes, as the government has stated it had no control over what happened to the IP addresses after they had sold them, but, perhaps further vetting of potential clients needs to take place in order to mitigate against unlawful use at the extreme end. I wonder where other sold IP addresses will end up in the future?

Image courtesy of wired

4chan Message Board Sold

The influential and controversial message board 4chan has been sold to Japanese web entrepreneur-turned-magazine editor Hiroyuko Nishimura for an undisclosed sum, it was announced yesterday.

Revelling in its reputation as the filthy, sweaty engine-room of the internet, 4chan was the originator and hub of a crazy amount of internet subculture including “LOLcats” and the practice of “Rickrolling”, in which an unsuspecting user is tricked into clicking on a link which takes them to the YouTube video of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up – a practice which re-booted Astley’s career.

It was also the place where Anonymous, the online hackers collective began and was also at the center of the nude celebrity leak, dubbed as “The fappening” last year. The website currently gets 22 million new visits every month and a million posts per day.

In January 4chan’s founder, Chris Poole – who goes by the username Moot –announced he was stepping down as administrator of the site, and in a news post on Monday he announced the sale of the site to Nishimura. He said that he and Nishimura were “fast friends” who had bonded “over our shared passion for creating and managing online communities”.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the site, I guess we’ll find out!

Thanks to Forbes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BusinessInsider 

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.

Tesla’s Home Battery Sold Out Till Mid-2016

Tesla mostly, known for their famous electric cars, recently announced the Powerwall battery. Essentially built as giant batteries for the home, the concept of which is the batteries are charged during the day and used to power homes during the night. They can also be used as UPS (uninterruptible power supplies), devices used to hold an electronic charge in case of a power cut, this allows the devices to stay on regardless of if your property has electric coming in.

With over 38,000 reservations received the product has been in high demand. The demand is so high that the company is contemplating devoting their production purely on the Powerwall battery, but with current levels of production it is said to be sold out until mid-2016.

Almost 2,500 companies has displayed an interest in the product, with an average of 10 units per order, accounting for a more company based interest in the product than that of the general public (as was predicted on the devices initial announcements).

With giant batteries coming home is it only a matter of time before power cuts are a thing of the past? How would you feel when you see a power cut turn off your lights but your computer and fridge stay on?

Information courtesy of Engadget.

Tickets for Dota 2 The International Sold Out in a Record-Breaking Six Minutes

The biggest eSports event of the year, Dota 2 “The International”, is approaching and fans are getting really excited for the even. Possibly too excited.

The previous tournament took place in Key Arena, Seattle, between July 18th and 21st. The tickets have sold in less than an hour, so fans were urged to be quick on buying a ticket sine then. But nobody expected all the tickets for this year’s event to be sold in… six minutes?

It is said that this year’s tournament will be held in the same Key Arena in Seattle, but in August this time around. The lucky people who were fast enough to buy a ticket are likely to be eagerly looking forward to the start of the tournament.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

GAME Acquires Multiplay for £20 Million!

It has been announced that GAME has acquired Multiplay, the company responsible for the Insomnia gaming events in the UK, for £20m.

As an avid gamer, modder and LAN attendee myself, it comes as no surprise that I attend the largest UK gaming event there is, Insomnia. These events started in 1999 with less than 50 attendees per event and rapidly grew to where we are now; a huge event with thousands of attendees per day and over 65 thousand people in total last year. Insomnia has a lot to offer, it has LAN gaming halls, exhibitions, special guests, eSports tournaments and more. The events have been increasingly getting more corporate and now GAME have taken notice and bought the business for an impressive £20M.

It is reported that Multiplay CEO Craig Fletcher will still be in charge of the event, but will now be reporting to GAME. Will this mean any changes to the events? Well, I hope not. I have attended around 20 Insomnia events, either working, as a BYOC gamer or as an exhibitor and I have booked time off for all 3 events this year. I hope with this acquisition we don’t see it turn into some kind of event tailored just to make money and goes back to catering to the gaming communities more than businesses. GAME has been in quite a lot of trouble in recent years, and even went into administration in 2012, so it is good to see that they are branching out into new areas. It’s important that they look to eSports and online gaming more increase their market, this seems an excellent way for them to do so.

Multiplay’s Craig Fletcher said: “GAME and Multiplay are both passionate about games and gaming, building valuable communities of gamers and putting customers first. Over the years we’ve worked closely with the GAME team on many occasions and come to know them well.”

I can only say that time will tell and the community will be the final judge. I hope to have a chat with Craig Fletcher in the coming days to see if we can get some more information as myself and eTeknix are huge fans of the event.

Thanks to MCV for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Insomnia

PlayStation Gaming Show Ticket Sales Open Friday

Coming this December, Sony will be hosting its very own PlayStation gaming event in the desert city of Las Vegas.

Ticket sales are said to open this Friday, expect to set yourself back around $50 for a single day pass or $90 for a double for the event held inside the Venetian Hotel – boasting a total “400,000 square feet of PlayStation”, as according to the official PlayStation Blog.

As for specialty content, The Order: 1866 will be previewed at the show alongside Bloodborne. Looking for more to do? Sid Shuman from PlayStation social media told us you can:

“Sit in on in-depth panels, meet the industry’s best developers, score hands-on gameplay with tons of upcoming PlayStation games, collect free swag, and get a chance to purchase rare collectibles directly from their favorite game studios.”

Some of the panels will be including Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono, various Sony developers alongside many other Sony employee’s all eager to answer your best fan-boy or fan-girl requests. Given all that’s going on, this show has been described by some as PAX-esque, but only PlayStation content – we think this statement isn’t too far off from the truth.

Are you feeling the hype? Some PlayStation fanatics have already been commenting about the #PlayStationMasterRace so it seems this event is going to be a killer. To get yourself in the mood, take a look at the official trailer below and let the game rumors commence!

[youtube width=”720″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0rt83T2X44[/youtube]

A Cover Design Which Looks To Be The Oldest Superman Cover Sold For $286,800

Superman has been around since ’30s and has since then been one of the favourite characters which kids looked up to during their childhood. Comics, serials, movies, action figures and more have been released with the character, generating a large profit throughout the years.

It looks like one of the oldest cover design for what may be the oldest comic book cover featuring Superman has recently been auctioned. The auction ended eventually, and seen the item sell for more than a quarter of a million dollars.

Action Comics No. 15, which represents Superman holding up a U.S. Submarine codenamed ‘D-11’ from the bottom of the ocean, sold for $286,800 through Heritage Auctions. It was first valued and listed at a price of $30,000, a design made by Fred Guardineer.

As the reported who firs spotted the auction listing, the price is still less than half of an Amazing Spider-Man cover designed and drawn by Todd McFarlane, which sold for $675,250 as well as the Tintin in America cover by $ 1.6 million, both sold two years ago.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge

5 Million Galaxy Note 3 Handsets Sold in One Month

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was released about a month ago and given the Galaxy Note series’ popularity, it does not come as a surprise to find out that the Galaxy Note 3 has done pretty well for itself. According to a statement made by Samsung’s CEO, JK Shin, he has confirmed to a Korean media outlet that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has managed to sell 5 million units worldwide in a month since its release.

To put this into perspective, the original Galaxy Note took about 5 months to hit the 5 million mark, while the Galaxy Note 2 took 2 months to reach the previously mentioned milestone, so we have to wonder with the Galaxy Note 4 and how did Samsung manage to move 10 million units in one month (5 million in half a month). We can estimate that there are bigger numbers to be seen when the Galaxy S5 will be released.

The Galaxy Note 3 was released last month and users definitely liked what they saw, given the number of handsets sold, but looking back to when the original Samsung Galaxy Note was announced back in IFA 2011, many thought the idea of a smartphone with a 5.3” display was a bit ridiculous. However, it looks like phablets are getting a lot of appreciation from more and more people every day.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information.

Xiaomi Mi3 Has Sold Out In Under 90 Seconds

One of China’s largest and most popular phone makers, Xiaomi, have announced today that their new flagship Smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi3, was sold out in under 90 seconds. The record time is actually 1 minute and 26 seconds, or 86 seconds, to be exact. In case you’re wondering as to how many Mi3s were sold within the same period, the number is a mind-boggling 100,000. Perhaps this is why Chinese phone makers price their flagship products at relatively affordable prices, somewhere around the $300-$400 mark, since it attracts more customers and ultimately leads to more sales, and more profit in the process. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

“100,000 Xiaomi MI3s are sold out in one minute and twenty-six seconds,and 3000 MITVs are sold out in one minute and fifty-eight seconds.” Xiaomi tweeted.

The device’s specification, for those of you haven’t heard of the Xiaomi Mi3 up until now, are the following:

  • 5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS display with 441 PPI resolution with Corning Gorilla glass protection
  •  1.8 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor / 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 (MSM 8974AB) processor
  • Dimensions – 114mm×72mm×8.1mm, weight: 145g
  • MIUI V5 on top of Android
  • 13MP rear camera with LED Flash, Sony Exmor BSI sensor,  f/2.2 aperture, 1080p full HD video recording
  • 2MP front-facing camera with BSI sensor,  f/2.2 aperture, 1080p full HD video recording
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16 / 64 GB internal memory
  • 3G, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4/5 GHz),   WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and NFC
  • 3050mAh battery

The 16 GB version of the Xiaomi Mi3 commands a price of 1999 Yuan (roughly $330), whereas the 64 GB version costs 2499 Yuan (just $410). I bet that most people would like to have the Xiaomi Mi3 available in their country as well.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Cue Acquired By Apple To Take On Google

It is nothing new for Apple to acquire new companies, therefore personal assistant ‘Cue’ is the latest “victim” that the Cupertino giant has targeted, and this is to be good news for iOS users. The good news comes is due to many of the features offered by ‘Cue’ mimic those of Google Now. Nothing is sure if the features provided by ‘Cue’ will be implemented into the new Apple tech, but anything is possible, we need only see it in time.

Cue essentially aggregates data from social networks and otherwise (Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to present relevant information at the relevant time for you. Flight bookings and hotel reservations are also included, and Cue has been offering these features before Google Now was officially introduced. You might soon see your daily calendars get populated automatically in iOS 7, but that’s far away from now.

On its website, Cue said it is shutting down its service and issuing refunds to paid customers, but did not offer much in the way of explanation. Cue began life as mobile search company Greplin, before changing names and shifting to the personal assistant arena.

“We appreciate all of the support from you, our users, as Cue has grown over the last few years,” Cue said. “However, the Cue service is no longer available.”

It also said no data was being transferred to another party and that all information it had has been deleted.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you,” the company said.

The deal value is said to be upward of $40 million, up to around $60 million, though that figure may include earnouts or other incentive pay.

Thank you NextPowerUp and AllTHingsD for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.