Much to my surprise, upgrading my own system from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 was more or less flawless, and the upgrade is a great deal more convenient than a fresh install. If you want to do a fresh install, or want to upgrade but don't want to wait for Windows Update, ISO images are now available too. The final Windows 10 release is also now available on MSDN for subscribers.
Joshua Drake, a researcher from Zimperium's zLabs, is about to drop a bombshell at the upcoming Black Hat conference: details of an Android remote code execution exploit that could use a single MMS message to crack as many as 950 million phones, or roughly 95% of all Android handsets, according to statements Drake provided to Forbes. The attack is called Stagefright, named after Android's system-wide media playback component, where the vulnerabilities lie—and which various messaging apps use to display multimedia content. zLabs even goes so far as to call this "the worst Android vulnerability in the mobile OS['s] history."
Depending on the messaging app in question, a victim may not even have to view the booby-trapped MMS. Drake told Forbes that Google's Hangouts allows for a fully silent attack on a vulnerable handset—the exploit triggers before a notification is even issued. In addition, Drake told Forbes that older devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG's Optimus Elite run the exploitable process with system-level permissions, which "provides wide access across the phone" with no further effort.
You better watch out who you might piss off while driving, because they might make this the next evolution in road rage. I'm also sure there will be other makes and models to be recalled in the future, as security was definitely not in mind when these systems were implemented.
Dig a little deeper, and you'll find that most every onboard system, like the accelerator, brakes, steering, and engine control, are linked together using a standard called the Controller Area Network, or CAN bus. If this sounds similar to the setup of Battlestar Galactica, it kind of is—and recent events on the automotive computing front have been almost as terrifying as the Cylon attack that sets BSG in motion. Wired broke a story earlier this week about a vulnerability in Chrysler's Uconnect onboard entertainment system that allowed a pair of security researchers to remotely take control of a Jeep Cherokee by way of its cellular data connection.
I guess the good thing here was the people who had the extra security in place were not compromised.
Some Steam accounts were stolen during the period from July 21 to July 25 due to a security flaw in the service's password reset procedure, Kotaku reports. The hole, which Valve learned of on July 25, allowed an attacker to reset a Steam account's password without a security code using only the account's name. Valve claims it has since closed the security hole.
Anonymous has claimed responsibility for a cyber-attack against a US government website, resulting in the leak of sensitive employee data.
Members of the online activist collective Anonymous have taken credit for an attack on the United States Census Bureau website and the publication of data that includes employee names, email addresses, phone numbers and positions within the US government. The leaked data, which has been published online, also includes password hashes – which are difficult, but not impossible, to crack.
The US Census Bureau gathers data on every US resident once every 10 years, as well as data on its economy every five years. It's mission statement includes the line: "We honour privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly."
The reason for the cyber-attack is the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), both of which are top priorities for the Obama administration and promise a radical reform of the global politico-economic system, with integration and convergence of major Atlantic and Pacific nations. Among the many oppositions to the twin agreements is the way they have been drawn up in secret, with Anonymous being vocal in its opposition.
Rather than fancy zero-day exploits, or cutting-edge malware, what you mostly need to worry about when it comes to security is using strong, unique passwords on all the sites and services you visit.
You know that. But what’s crazy is that, in 2015, some websites are intentionally disabling a feature that would allow you to use stronger passwords more easily—and many are doing so because they wrongly argue it makes you safer.
Here’s the problem: Some sites won’t let you paste passwords into login screens, forcing you, instead, to type the passwords out. This makes it impossible to use certain kinds of password managers that are one of the best lines of defense for keeping accounts locked down.
The OnePlus 2 is being shown off to the world at a special launch event tomorrow, and the company is making sure all the necessary preparation work has been done in advance. Over the weekend OnePlus has opened up the invite system for its next flagship and also pushed out an Android app for tuning into tomorrow’s launch event.
Like the first phone, the OnePlus 2 is going to be available on an invite-only basis, at least to begin with. To get your name down for one you need to register your email address and cross your fingers, pester someone who nabs has a OnePlus 2 (and will get a handful of invites with it) or watch out for one of the regular competitions and promotions OnePlus organizes.
China is lifting its ban on the manufacturing and sale of video game consoles in its country, which opens a large door of opportunity for the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. This expands China’s previous declarations of more openness for video game consoles, which were still laden with restrictions.
The new rules will benefit foreign and domestic console makers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Last year, China eased its ban on video game consoles, but limited the list of welcome foreign console manufacturers and required them to operate only in Shanghai’s free trade zone. This “pilot” was successful, according to China’s Ministry of Culture.
Do we have anyone here seeking patents? Now's the time to get busy with Google.
Google's has opened a new front in its war on patent trolls: the company is giving away patents to fifty eligible startups.
The Google Patent Starter Program will attempt to help the startups navigate the complex and time-consuming task of managing patents as well as the risk of patent trolls attacking them. Under the scheme, participants will be given two patent families that they have chosen from a selection of three to five that Google has decided is relevant to the startup.
The new program ties in with Google's support of the LOT Network, a tech-industry initiative that was set up last year to protect members from patent troll litigation. The members, which include SAP, Uber, Dropbox, GitHub, Mazda, Redhat, Canon, and others, receive a license to protect them when patents are transferred out of the LOT Network, which currently has 325,000 patents. The cost of membership ranges between $1,500 to $20,000 based on a company's annual revenue.
Some may say its unnecessary but I think it's cool as heck!
Using the SDLash app, you can boot and play Half-Life (or, I guess, any older game using the Source engine) on an Android Wear watch. While it’s far from perfect—the game is hard to control and crashes—that doesn’t change the fact you can play Half-Life from your watch.
It's been nearly a year since Motorola announced the Moto X, Moto G and Moto 360. With less than a week to go until its press events, it looks like we might be getting an early glimpse at the next flagship, the Moto X for 2015.
While we have heard and seen things over the past couple months about the Moto G, this could be our first real look at Motorola's upcoming flagship device. The alleged Moto X that is seen in the leaked image looks fairly similar in shape to the previous year's model with the exception of thinner bezels around the screen and what looks like a front-mounted flash in the top corner.
Although numerous other companies have enhanced the camera quality for front-facing cameras, it is very rare to see a flash on the front of the device. According to reports, the 2015 Moto X might also have a fingerprint scanner that would enable better security and a more convenient method to access the device.
Motorola's press show is scheduled for July 28th, 2015. The press events will be held in New York and London. Those that are not part of the press or were not invited will be able to watch a livestream of the event so we'll have you covered.
Australian internet shoppers may be in for a rough ride, as new taxes may soon be applied to all of their purchases.
Until now, savvy Australian shoppers that were making their purchases online could skirt the government’s 10% goods and services tax, the equivalent of VAT. That tax was absent for online transactions under A$1000. But now, according to Mashable, the PM alongside regional leaders have reportedly agreed to lower that threshold down to A$20.
If this becomes the new law, then users will find themselves instantly paying 10% more for most of their online purchases. But the trouble doesn’t stop there because, as one consumer advocacy group notes, the extra revenue from the tax would be less than the money needed to actually collect the new tax.
If that’s the way things stand, and the new tax still goes into effect, the cost of collecting the tax may also be passed down to consumers. We already know that it’s cheaper to fly out of Australia, buy stuff, and go back than it is to buy it locally, but this new system would make things even worse.
There’s no clear indication on whether the program would actually be implemented in this form, but Australian consumers can’t be happy that it’s even a possibility.
Given some of the discussions I've seen, I had to post this. For what's it's worth, I've seen some of this behavior that's discussed myself while playing Halo MP.
Being lousy at videogames might make you more of a jerk.
To better understand the roots of misogyny, a pair of researchers examined the gender dynamics of players interacting in Halo 3. In a study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff found that sexism in the male-dominated environment of Halo seemed to have more to do with the skill of the guys and their status within the game than with any women playing the game.
“It’s the fear of losing to a woman that kind of irks a lot of men,” Kasumovic, a professor at the University of New South Wales, says. “As a consequence, they lash out in an attempt to remove women from the competitive playing field.”
In other words, men who may already be losing in the game don’t like women encroaching on their turf—and their tactic of choice can be harassment.
They're lobbying on issues that would affect us directly. It's worth the quick read imo.
Tech companies already own Silicon Valley, but new lobbying disclosure documents reveal just how much weight they throw around Washington as well.
In the second quarter of 2015, Google spent a whopping $4.62 million on lobbying efforts. That’s just slightly less than the $5.47 million they spent in the first quarter, but it still makes the search giant the third largest corporate lobbyist. Facebook increased its spend from $2.44 million to $2.69 million in the second quarter, while Amazon’s budget grew from $1.9 million to $2.15 million. Meanwhile, Apple spent just $1.23 million of its huge mountain of cash.
But while the these sizable figures themselves are worthy of notice, it’s equally important to consider just what policies these companies are lobbying for. While their policy concerns not altogether surprising, they do tell a cohesive story about what the tech giants driving the industry consider to be its most pressing issues.
Kotaku had translated an interesting interview from Famitsu (Japanese gaming magazine). Square Enix boss, Yosuke Matsuda, talks about his ideas on how to develop a franchise and that one off hits are rare. Here is the interesting part that Kotaku had to share with us.
Cultivating a new IP is very important. This is my own personal view, but I believe that it is very difficult to immediately build up a big IP. Looking retrospectively at the gaming industry, many games take off or get their big break at their third title. There are cases where the opposite is true of course (Laugh).
But regardless, you need at least three games before you can tell whether an IP is going to be really successful or not. I call this my “Law of Third Titles (三作目の法則)” (Laugh). That’s why for the first and second games, you experiment to a degree where you can still be flexible, and if the series has grown enough to be able to expect a big hit for the third game, you expand the scale. If the third title is successful then all is well.