GCHQ Releases Open-source Spy Tool on GitHub

Open source surveillance has changed the ball game somewhat after British Intelligence security service GCHQ has created an account on well-known code repository site, and one of the fairly recent targets of China’s Great Cannon attack tool, GitHub.

What has exactly been created? It’s an open sourced tool by the name of “Gaffer”, which according to Google is a British slang term for boss; anyway, the tool is written in Java and according to the tools official GitHub page, is a framework that simplifies the storage of “large-scale graphs in which the nodes and edges have statistics such as counts, histograms and sketches,” not exactly Spectre, but hey ho.  The tool has been primarily developed as a graph database with the aim of offering the capability to retrieve data on nodes of interest.

Below is a summary of the tool and its key features

  • Allow the creation of graphs with summarised properties within Accumulo with a very minimal amount of coding.
  • Allow flexibility of statistics that describe the entities and edges.
  • Allow easy addition of new types of nodes and edges.
  • Allow quick retrieval of data on nodes of interest.
  • Deal with data of different security levels – all data has a visibility, and this is used to restrict who can see data based on their authorizations.
  • Support automatic age-off of data.

Gaffer is being distributed under the Apache 2.0 licence which allows you and me to modify and distribute the code in any way, as long as the original copyright notice and disclaimer are preserved.

For those who are excited about updates to this tool, anyone? The official GitHub page for this tool also announces that Gaffer 2 is in development and aims to “create a more general framework that offers the best of Gaffer with improvements”

It will be rather worthwhile to follow this tool through various developments and applications to see how it’s being utilized in the wider world; it would not surprise me if it’s in the news very soon.

Image courtesy of theregister

Facebook Plans to Send Breaking News Alerts with New App

Facebook has taken an interest in the news business for some time and has pushed to take a piece of the market share since then. We’ve seen it deliver the latest breaking news on the social media platform and from what I’ve seen, the news pushed by the social media giant is really spot-on hot. But now, Facebook wants to send the hottest news straight to your phone.

They are said to be working on a new breaking news standalone app, which is still in its early stages. Once the app is released, Facebook says it will ask you to choose what news sources you like, what topics and get all the hottest news from them through push notifications. All news will link back to the original website on which it was published, but getting a 100 character push notification of your favourite news as it gets published really sounds something of a ‘must-have’ to me.

It is said that the app will have a select number of news websites, which is to be expected, but more may be added after it gets released. Since Facebook wanted to take a bite out of the news market, this new app could really bring them a small fortune. Also, having the ability to select and make deals with news websites will surely increase the social media giant’s capital in the long run, while also making a name for itself in the news market.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Image Too Blurry to Identify Someone in a Security Footage? Fujitsu Has the Answer

A new image-processing technology has been developed by Fujitsu, who claims that it now can be used to track people even in heavily blurred footage from security cameras. The company states that this tech is the first of its kind that can detect people in low-resolution imagery where faces are indistinguishable.

The technology is said to use computer-vision algorithms in order to analyse the footage and recognize shapes such as head and torso, which remain even if the image is distorted or multiple people in a frame overlap. The algorithm is then compared with footage from different cameras and determines if an individual is the same person by focusing on distinctive colours of a person’s clothing.

Fujitsu said that an indoor test of the system has been performed, having been able to track the paths of 80% of the test subjects. The company also claimed that detecting people’s movement could be useful for retail design, reducing pedestrian congestion in crowded urban areas or improving evacuation routes for emergencies.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information

NZXT Source 340 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Earlier this year we brought you news of the new NZXT Source 340 (S340), the new budget friendly mid-tower from one of the industries leading chassis manufacturers. Now we’re very happy to bring you the full review of the latest chassis from NZXT. The S340 is the latest edition to the Source range, and there have been some pretty big changes to the general design. Gone are the sweeping curves and large sections of mesh ventilation. Now we have bold flat panels and a very minimalist look that has more in common with the H440 than it does with previous entries to the Source series.

Priced at just under 70 EUR, the S340 does have a focus on being more affordable. However, NZXT has really pulled out all the stops to pack this chassis full of unique features, high quality components and more to make it incredible value for money. The chassis comes fitted with dust filters, a large side panel window, high-quality fans, a PSU shroud and more.

The S340 comes in a choice of black and white finishes. There’s support for 120mm and 140mm fans; although two 120mm fans come pre-installed. There’s easily room for high-end components; the chassis will handle 334-364mm long graphics cards, 161mm tall CPU cooler, mini-ITX to ATX motherboards and more.

While I normally mention packaging here, this S340 was shipped to me directly from the factory; it came in a plain brown box that is of little interest to consumers.

Samsung Tease Eye-Controlled Mouse

Set to help the disabled use computers with ease, Samsung’s eye-tracking technology will allow users to control their computers functionality without needing to handle a physical mouse.

Developed in-house by Samsung engineers, this technology is an advancement of their EYECAN system, a mouse control device utilized through glasses worn by the user. This updated technology is coined the EYECAN+ and enables you to simply look at where you wish to click and physically blink to activate commands and controls on your system. In their demonstrations, Samsung made sure to point out that you can type and perform ‘drag-and-stop’ commands with their new advancement – meaning you can perform simple tasks and play games such as Angry Birds.

This is reportedly not the first eye-tracking software to hit the market and quoted as not the best. However, Samsung are rumored to be making this a open-source style project, meaning other companies are able to gather and build on this technology, with a lot of the ‘hard yards’ already being completed by the Samsung engineering team.

This means that if it were to make it to the public (which Samsung is not planning to do), we could see this retail for an expected $150 in the local market. Further meaning that any person or carer should be able to purchase this device without too much difficulty, massively increasing their computer using abilities.

Image courtesy of TrustedReviews

NZXT Source 340 & Kraken CPU Coolers Competition Winners!

Last month we teamed up with NZXT to give you the chance to win the new NZXT Source 340 chassis, the Kraken X61, Kraken X41 and finally the Kraken X31 CPU coolers. Today that competition comes to a full stop, so it’s time to reveal the lucky winners!

With four prizes and only three winners, we’ve decided to break them up into first, second and third place prizes. First place will walk away with a new chassis and the latest 240mm NZXT AIO CPU cooler. Second place will win their new 140mm AIO CPU cooler. Third place will win their new budget friendly 120mm AIO CPU cooler.

First Place

  • NZXT Source 340 Chassis (chassis colour is unknown, but it should be either black or white)
  • NZXT Kraken X61

Second Place

  • NZXT Kraken X41

Third Place

  • NZXT Kraken X31

First of all I want to say a massive thank you to NZXT for providing us with these prizes, and massive thank you to all our fans who took the time to enter the competition. Without further delay, the lucky winners are…

Edgars Verners – 1st Place

Scott Badham – 2nd Place

Ivan Jimenez Diaz – 3rd Place

Congratulations to all our winners and don’t feel too bad if you didn’t win this time, we’ve got plenty more competitions for you to enter right here!

Linksys WRT1900AC Dual-Band Wireless Router Review

Introduction


Over the last few years there have been many products that have come to market that have had the ability to grab our attention for one reason or another. In some instances this has been due to the new technologies and levels of performance that they bring or in other instances it may have been a radical design that changes the way in which we look at type of product. The product that we’re looking at today though has me buzzing in a completely different way and one which I doubt will happen again any time soon.

Linksys’ WRT1900AC is a router that, as anyone into their networking would know, is built on the legacy of the WRT54G, which came to market back in December 2003 and it’s range of substrates that followed, including the WRT54GS. Of all the features that made the original WRT so unique and legendary, the Open-source platform and performance for the time were the two biggest selling points. To show how successful this router was and believe it or not, still is, the WRT54G and GS have been used for so many applications aside residential network applications, with open-source firmware playing a major part in these unique applications.

As the years have moved on and the world of networking advanced considerably, the WRT range has slowly started to drop in numbers as 802.11n and more recently 802.11ac wireless connectivity and also the 5GHz band have become the new industry standard along with Gigabit LAN on the wired side of the network. Following their acquisition by Belkin, Linksys have been looking at ways in which they can bring the brand back into the front line, alongside the likes of Netgear who are one of today’s industry leaders, and the choice was made last year to rekindle the essence of what was then their most iconic product – the result of months of work sees us looking at what could quite possibly be another iconic product and for anyone who is into their networking, this is a very exciting product to see launched.

Keeping some of the bold lines and colours and translating them into a 2014 design, the WRT1900AC retains the blue and black plastic body and the desktop orientation what the original WRT featured and inside Linksys have packed in a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM processor, 256MB of RAM and 128MB flash memory, dual-band wireless with speeds of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band on offer, with a unique 4×4 external antenna array, which work with the latest beamforming technology to deliver fast and precisely directed wireless connections to any part of the home, with the aim to deliver faster and stronger wireless connections than any other router on the market. It’s certainly a tall order and an ambitious claim to make, but if Linksys have done their homework right and kept hold of the WRT magic that we saw years ago, this could quite possibly be one of the greatest routers that we have seen to date; so the pressure really is on.

The front of the box is very simple and to the point with a bold image of the router laid out across it and a line of feature highlights set below. Around the rest of the box we get more information on the router with detailed specifications, insights into the wireless coverage and what the WRT has to offer over all else.

Opening up the box, the essence of quality is instantly apparent with the router set into a foam lined interior and each of the bundled accessories having its own dedicated compartment to protect it from damage during shipping.

High-Definition Holograms Might Hit The Market As Early As Next Year

When thinking about holograms, the first thought is about movies and science-fiction books where most have encountered the described technology for the first time, knowing it is just a fictional technological thought or concept. A startup company based in California tends to change this in a fairly small amount of time.

Ostendo is a company claiming to have solved the problems faced with hologram technology with the help of 5,000 PPI projectors measuring in at just about the size of a Tic Tac. The projectors are said to be able to control the colour, brightness and angle of individual beams of light across 1,000,000 pixels.

The company states that one chip is capable of delivering a usable image, but multiple chips are said to make room for even more complex and detailed images. Recent news indicate that The Wall Street Journal received a demo of this amazing technology, having it beam green dice spinning in the air.

Though the technology is still in its early stages, the company is said to deliver a chip capable of rendering 2D images on a surface of up to 48-inches at first. However, Hussein S. El-Ghoroury, the founder of Ostendo, stated that the company will be able to produce a chip capable of rendering “consistent” 3D objects in mid-air just months after the first chip’s release.

The technology did not go unnoticed, having already stirred the attention of some major handset manufacturers. Also, Ostendo is already looking forward into enhancing the product by reducing the pixel size to be able to boost the image resolution of its holograms, as well as thinking of ways to embed its technology into TVs, smartwatches and even tablets.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

NZXT Source 530 Full Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


NZXT are well-known in the industry for their ultra high end enthusiast chassis, with products such as the Phantom 820 and the H630 simply blowing us away with their no compromise, feature packed designs. There is of course just one big downside to their more epic creations, a price tag that can really hurt your wallet. NZXT are well aware that they have a big fan base that can’t afford many of their products, so it looks like they’ve gone back to the drawing board and come up with something that packs all the big NZXT features, but for just under $90 / £70.

That isn’t exactly cheap I know, but it’s easily one of the hottest and most popular sections of the chassis market, there are countless offerings in this sector from all the major players that are incredible chassis, so it will be interesting to see just how competitive the Source 530 is in this area. As you can see from the specifications below it certainly packs a lot of features and with extensive cooling support, loads of room for storage and room for huge graphics cards to name but a few, it’s certainly sounding great on paper, so let’s get to the real deal and see how it holds up to inspection.

I normally add a photo of the packaging here, but my sample arrived in a brown box, so we shall skip over that. In the box I found the usual assortment of screws, bolts and cable ties to ensure we can fully install all major components and hard drives, as well as a simple owners manual to guide you through the process.

NZXT Launch The Source 530 Full Tower With Overclockers.co.uk

NZXT have just introduced their brand new Source series chassis the Source 530 Full Tower. Which they claim is focused on providing all of the essentials, while maintaining affordability and simplicity. In other words plenty of features for a reasonable price tag. Check out the teaser trailer below, then well move on for a look at the technical stuff.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/mOy1xsqHu34[/youtube]

Case Specs

  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 235mm x 507mm x 510 mm
  • Material: Plastic, Steel
  • Total Weight: 9.2 kg
  • Motherboard Support: ITX, MicroATX, ATX, EATX (322 x 272mm)
  • Electronic Features: Audio/Mic, I/O LED, Power/Reset LED, 2 x USB 3.0, 10-Port Fan Hub

Bays & Expansion

  • External 5.25”: 3
  • Internal 3.5”: 6
  • Internal 2.5”: 7 (1 behind motherboard tray)
  • Expansion Slots: 8

Cooling

  • Front: 2 x 120/140mm or 1 x 200mm
  • Top: 3 x 120mm (1 x 120mm included) or 2 x 140mm
  • Rear: 1 x 120/140mm (1 x 120mm included)
  • Bottom: 2 x 120mm

NZXT have already got one of the strongest chassis ranges of any company on the market, catering to the budget friendly side of the market all the way up to the ultra high end enthusiast market and personally I think it is great to see them make something for the middle market. We look forward to taking a closer look at this product in the coming weeks as we hope to have one in for review very shortly.

The price is competitive and with support for large radiators, modular hard drive cages, cable management, fully filtered airflow and more this could very quickly become one of the most popular chassis on the market.

The chase is available immediately for around $89.99 in the US, but will be available exclusively with Overclockers here in the UK for around £79.99.

Thank you Overclockers for providing us with this information.

Images Coutesy of NZXT.