With its focus on a leaner product line, HTC has been fairly quiet in recent times, releasing a handful of devices each year. The time is nigh for a new smartphone from the company, and if the rumors hold true, it’ll be a high-end device with specs to satisfy power users. The HTC [...]
The “Made for Google” program aims to guarantee that any accessory you buy with that badge is a quality part. Of course, it’s also a clever business move to make some money and feature certain companies, but that’s good business. And now the site for the program is up!
You can now use PayPal to send money through Facebook Messenger
Technically speaking, Facebook Messenger has supported the ability to send and receive money for quite awhile. But if you prefer to handle your online transactions with PayPal, that base is now covered, too.
PayPal announced today that you can use Facebook Messenger to send money. To get it to work, Messenger users just [...]
Google’s ‘Try It Now’ feature will let you try Instant Apps before you download
Google announced “Instant Apps” back at its I/O conference back in 2016. The initial aim of the project was to let Android users quickly try an app they discovered through Google Search without actually downloading and installing the app onto their device.
That idea is now extending into the Play Store directly [...]
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 now official with 8-inch display
Samsung today officially unveiled a brand new tablet which will launch before the end of the month.
The Galaxy Tab Active2 sports an 8-inch display with a resolution of 1280×800. It’s got a rugged design and is IP68-rated for water and dust resistance. Under the hood the Galaxy Tab Active2 boasts an octa-core Samsung Exynos [...]
Asia Pacific Telecom gearing up for 5G network deployments
Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) is actively proceeding with deployments of 5G mobile communications infrastructure, with a spate of tests and certifications of network technologies scheduled to kick off by the end of 2018, according to company sources.
Epson developing versatile inkjet printers to achieve ambitious goals by 2025
Inkjet printer and robotic arm supplier Seiko Epson is aggressively moving to expand its product lines and boost sales of high-performance printers for uses by other sectors than consumers, aiming to achieve an annual revenue and profit goal of JPY1.7 trillion (US$15 billion) and JPY200 billion, respectively, by 2025, after scoring an impressive revenue record of JPY 1.02 trillion and net earnings of JPY65.8 billion in fiscal 2016 ending March 31, 2017, according to Koichi Kubota, the firm's senior managing executive officer .
Taiwan foundries seeing brisk demand from fabless firms
Taiwan-based IC foundries including 8-inch ones have seen orders from their local fabless clients grow, which would indicate a particularly strong fourth quarter for Taiwan's IC industry, according to industry sources.
YouTube Suspends Account of Popular Chinese Dissident
schwit1 brings news about an exiled Chinese billionaire with 500,000 followers on YouTube. The Washington Free Beacon reports:YouTube has suspended the video account of popular Chinese dissident Guo Wengui amid a mounting pressure from the Beijing government to silence one of its critics. According to a person familiar with the action, YouTube issued what the company calls a 'strike' against Guo, who since the beginning of the year has created an online sensation by posting lengthy videos in which he reveals details of corruption by senior Chinese officials. The suspension involves a 90-day block on any new live-stream postings of videos and was the result of a complaint made against a recent Guo video for alleged harassment. The identity of the person or institution who issued the complaint could not be learned... Other videos by Guo posted prior to the suspension remain accessible.
The suspension coincides with this week's once-every-five-years congress of the Chinese Communist party to reveal which top officials will serve President Xi Jinping, according to Financial Times, adding that "China's choreographed politics is not designed for public participation or questioning."
2 Million IoT Devices Enslaved By Fast-Growing BotNet
An anonymous reader writes: Since mid-September, a new IoT botnet has grown to massive proportions. Codenamed IoT_reaper, researchers estimate its current size at nearly two million infected devices. According to researchers, the botnet is mainly made up of IP-based security cameras, routers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices, network video recorders (NVRs), and digital video recorders (DVRs), primarily from vendors such as Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, GoAhead, JAWS, Vacron, AVTECH, MicroTik, TP-Link, and Synology. The botnet reuses some Mirai source code, but it's unique in its own right. Unlike Mirai, which relied on scanning for devices with weak or default passwords, this botnet was put together using exploits for unpatched vulnerabilities. The botnet's author is still struggling to control his botnet, as researchers spotted over two million infected devices sitting in the botnet's C&C servers' queue, waiting to be processed. As of now, the botnet has not been used in live DDoS attacks, but the capability is in there.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the Dyn DDoS attack, the article points out, adding that "This week both the FBI and Europol warned about the dangers of leaving Internet of Things devices exposed online."
Data Science Meets Sports Gambling: How Researchers Beat the Bookies
"A trio of data scientists developed a betting strategy to beat bookmakers at football games," writes austro. [The game Americans call soccer.] New Scientist reports:
The team studied 10 years' worth of data on nearly half a million football matches and the associated odds offered by 32 bookmakers between January 2005 and June 2015. When they applied their strategy in a simulation, they made a return of 3.5 per cent. Making bets randomly resulted in a loss of 3.32 per cent. Then the team decided to try betting for real. They developed an online tool that would apply their odds-averaging formula to upcoming football matches. When a favorable opportunity arose, a member of the team would email Kaunitz and his wife, one of whom then placed a bet. They kept this up for five months, placing $50 bets around 30 times a week. And they were winning. After five months the team had made a profit of $957.50 -- a return of 8.5 per cent. But their streak was cut short. Following a series of several small wins, the trio were surprised to find that their accounts had been limited, restricting how much they could bet to as little as $1.25. The gambling industry has long restricted players who appear to show an edge over the house, says Mark Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
The paper "illustrates how the sports gambling industry compensates market inefficiencies with discriminatory practices against successful clients," adds austro, noting that the researchers posted a paper explaining their methodology on arxiv last week. "They also made the dataset and source code available on github. And best of all, they made an online publicly available dashboard that shows a live list of bet recommendations on football matches based on their strategy here or here for anyone to try."
Google Offers $1,000 Bounties For Hacking Dropbox, Tinder, Snapchat, and Others
An anonymous reader quotes Mashable:
Google, in collaboration with bug bounty platform HackerOne, has launched the Google Play Security Reward Program, which promises $1,000 to anyone who can identify security vulnerabilities in participating Google Play apps. Thirteen apps are currently participating, including Tinder, Duolingo, Dropbox, Snapchat, and Headspace... If you find a security vulnerability in one of the participating apps, you can report that vulnerability to the developer, and work with them to fix it. When the problem has been resolved, the Android Security team will pay you $1,000 as a reward, on top of any reward you get from the app developer. Google will be collecting data on the vulnerabilities and sharing it (anonymized) with other developers who may be exposed to the same problems. For HackerOne, it's about attracting more and better participants in bounty programs.
An anonymous reader shares a report: Now that AlphaGo's arguably got nothing left to learn from humans -- now that its continued progress takes the form of endless training games against itself -- what do its tactics look like, in the eyes of experienced human players? We might have some early glimpses into an answer. AlphaGo Zero's latest games haven't been disclosed yet. But several months ago, the company publicly released 55 games that an older version of AlphaGo played against itself. (Note that this is the incarnation of AlphaGo that had already made quick work of the world's champions.) DeepMind called its offering a "special gift to fans of Go around the world." Since May, experts have been painstakingly analyzing the 55 machine-versus-machine games. And their descriptions of AlphaGo's moves often seem to keep circling back to the same several words: Amazing. Strange. Alien. "They're how I imagine games from far in the future," Shi Yue, a top Go player from China, has told the press. A Go enthusiast named Jonathan Hop who's been reviewing the games on YouTube calls the AlphaGo-versus-AlphaGo face-offs "Go from an alternate dimension." From all accounts, one gets the sense that an alien civilization has dropped a cryptic guidebook in our midst: a manual that's brilliant -- or at least, the parts of it we can understand. Will Lockhart, a physics grad student and avid Go player who codirected The Surrounding Game (a documentary about the pastime's history and devotees) tried to describe the difference between watching AlphaGo's games against top human players, on the one hand, and its self-paired games, on the other. According to Will, AlphaGo's moves against Ke Jie made it seem to be "inevitably marching toward victory," while Ke seemed to be "punching a brick wall." Any time the Chinese player had perhaps found a way forward, said Lockhart, "10 moves later AlphaGo had resolved it in such a simple way, and it was like, 'Poof, well that didn't lead anywhere!'" By contrast, AlphaGo's self-paired games might have seemed more frenetic. More complex. Lockhart compares them to "people sword-fighting on a tightrope."
Consumer Reports Refuses To Recommend Microsoft Surface Book 2
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier in the year, the review group said that problems with reliability meant that it was impossible for it to recommend any Microsoft laptop or tablet. Now Consumer Reports says that this extends to the Surface Book 2, meaning that the device will not be recommended. Microsoft is likely to be similarly disappointed with Consumer Reports' statement about the Surface Book 2. Speaking to Benzinga, Consumer Reports' spokesperson James McQueen said: "We will evaluate the performance of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 once we get it into our labs next month for testing, but we will not be able to recommend it. Our decision to withhold our recommendation of all Microsoft laptops and tablets is still in effect."
Student Expelled After Using Hardware Keylogger to Hack School, Change Grades
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Kansas University (KU) officials have expelled a student for installing a hardware keylogger and using the data acquired from the device to hack into the school's grading system and chang his grades. KU did not release the student's name to the public, but they said the keystroke logging device had been installed on one of the computers in its lecture halls. The student used data collected from the device to change F grades into A grades. Professors said the incident would not have been noticed if the student didn't get greedy about modifications. The hardware device the student used was a run-of-the-mill hardware keylogger that anyone can buy on Amazon or eBay for prices as low as $20. Speaking to local media, various KU professors said they hope not to see any copycats in the near future.
Laptops Could Be Banned From Checked Bags on Planes Due To Fire Risk
Readers share a report: Laptops could be banned from checked baggage on planes due to a fire risk under a proposal being recommended by an international air safety panel. According to a report, an overheating laptop battery could cause a significant fire in a cargo hold that fire fighting equipment aboard the plane would not be able to extinguish. That could "lead to the loss of the aircraft," according to the proposal. The ban will be considered by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations organization, at its meeting this month. Even if the organization endorses the proposal from its Dangerous Goods Panel, which is making the recommendation, it would be up to regulators in individual nations to pass rules to enforce it. The U.S. FAA has no comment on the proposal. But it is represented on the panel that is supporting the ban, and its research on the risk of fires from laptops is included in the proposal.
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
Living in space is grueling. The repetitiveness of daily exercise, experiments, crappy food, and claustrophobia can chip away at an astronaut’s psychological well-being, but scientists have suggested a preventative measure: plants.…
Wanna exorcise Intel's secretive hidden CPU from your hardware? Meet Purism's laptops
Free software lovin' crusaders kick out Management Engine
Purism – a San Francisco, California, social purpose company that flies the flags of privacy, security and software freedom – has begun offering its GNU/Linux-based laptops with Intel's Management Engine disabled.…
US Coast Guard sets Port Condition Four for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Effective 1 pm on Thursday, the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port San Juan set Port Condition Four for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The maritime community was strongly urged to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions, as tropical cyclone Irma...
MIAMI, USA -- Hurricane Irma maintained its category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale on Friday and is forecast to remain a powerful hurricane for days, as it turned westwards as expected. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami...
Antigua-Barbuda student selected as education grant recipient at UWI
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Mill Reef Fund board chair James Lewis has announced that the University of the West Indies (UWI) has selected Charrelle Browne, an incoming third year student to Cave Hill, Barbados, to receive a Mill Reef Fund Education Grant for this school year. Lewis said, “We congratulate...
Commentary: Guatemala political corruption: Impunity starched out by reform
As thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Guatemala City on March 7, 2017, Estuardo Batz was expressing his indignation over the broken promises of the new administration. Batz, a leader of the diverse, unified group of dissenters, called for the resignation of President Jimmy...