Archive for July, 2017

Someone Hijacks A Popular Chrome Extension to Push Malware

July 31st, 2017

Phishers have recently hacked an extension for Google Chrome after compromising the Chrome Web Store account of German developer team a9t9 software and abused to distribute spam messages to unsuspecting users.

Dubbed Copyfish, the extension allows users to extract text from images, PDF documents and video, and has more than 37,500 users.

Unfortunately, the Chrome extension of Copyfish has

Posted in adware, adware extention, Chrome exploit, chrome extension, Google Chrome, hacking chrome browser, hacking news, phishing attack, windows adware | Comments (0)

Healthcare Execs Report Rise in Data Breaches and HIPAA Violations

July 31st, 2017

IT executives, however, increasingly believe they are “completely ready” to withstand a cybersecurity attack on their healthcare system.

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Niantic cancels European Pokémon Go gatherings after Chicago fiasco

July 31st, 2017

Enlarge / Much of Europe will have to wait for Niantic’s planned Safari Zone events.

Niantic’s first attempt at a live Pokémon Go gathering in Chicago last week went so badly that attendees are organizing a class-action lawsuit after shoddy cell reception prevented most of the 20,000 attendees from playing the game during the paid event. In the wake of that fiasco, the Pokémon Go developers are postponing long-planned similar events in Copenhagen, Prague, Stockholm, and Amsterdam that were set for the coming weeks.

In a statement, Niantic said the European “Safari Zone” events originally scheduled for August 5 and 12 would be pushed back to some time in the fall “in order to guarantee the best possible gameplay experience for European Trainers.” Other events planned for France, Spain, and Germany will still take place in September, however, and a “Pikachu Outbreak” planned for Yokohama, Japan will still take place in August.

The Safari Zone events were billed as a chance for European players to catch Pokémon that rarely or never show up in the region and to team up for multiplayer battles against Raid Bosses. “As a special surprise, we understand that some Pokémon that are rarely seen in Europe will be appearing soon in certain European cities for a brief time,” Niantic writes by way of apology. “We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you understand that our priority is to ensure a great experience for Pokémon Go Trainers in Europe and around the world.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, niantic, Nintendo, pokemon, pokemon go | Comments (0)

Can cellphones handle vehicle-to-vehicle comms better than radio networks?

July 31st, 2017


NEW YORK—Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication (aka V2V) sometimes feels like the automotive world’s Duke Nukem Forever. The idea of vehicles communicating with each other over short distances to warn drivers of potential obstacles or dangers is compelling. But it may as well be vaporware. Nearly 20 years after the Federal Communications Commission allocated radio spectrum for it, we’re still waiting. Today, it may be more than a decade before enough V2V-equipped cars are on our roads to make a difference. But we might all be walking around with the solution in our pocket—smartphones. At least, that’s the impression I walked away with after a demo of Nexar’s technology one recent morning in Manhattan.

A V2V traffic jam?

Dedicated Short-range Radio Communications (DSRC) networks communicate with each other at ranges of up to 984 feet (300m), operating in a band around 5.9GHz. And so the FCC set aside radio spectrum for V2V communications way back in 1999. But it took another 11 years for a wireless protocol—802.11p—to get nailed down, finally happening in 2010. From that point, it was another four years before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it was ready to start the rule-making process to get V2V approved for cars. NHTSA finally released a draft rule in December 2016, and we believe it to be a regulation that the current administration is keen to see implemented. Once on the books, it would give car makers two model years—plus a little extra leeway for older models—to make the technology standard across their fleets.

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Posted in cars, Nexar, V2V | Comments (0)

Photons direct photons, giving hope for all-optical quantum logic

July 31st, 2017

Photons, always surprising. (credit:

All the early quantum computing work was done with light. Light is very easy to manipulate: a few mirrors, crystals, and light detectors and you to can have your very own quantum computer. Over the last two decades, though, that’s changed. Almost all the major developments have used things like ions, rings of superconducting current, or defects in crystals.

This was, in some sense, a reasonable progression. To perform logical operations, you have to modify one quantum state based on the state of another. Light beams, however, tend to pass right through each other without even waving, let alone stopping to chat. Contrast that with ions. Two ions, being charged, cannot avoid talking to each other. That means the quantum state of one ion can strongly influence the state of the other. This makes logical operations much easier.

The flip side is that quantum states that are easily modified are also easily destroyed by the environment. The quantum state of light, on the other hand, is remarkably robust. This has been demonstrated rather spectacularly by performing quantum key distribution between two locations via a satellite.

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Posted in all-optical quantum computing, nonlinear optics, photons, quantum computing, science, single photon sources, single photons | Comments (0)

DevOps Security & the Culture of ‘Yes’

July 31st, 2017

Communication, collaboration, and the use of production data to drive decisions are essential for security work in a DevOps world.

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Russian official on new US sanctions and NASA: “Nothing lasts forever”

July 31st, 2017

Enlarge / Expedition 52-53 crewmembers Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency (left), Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos, center) and Randy Bresnik of NASA, were all smiles last week before their launch. (credit: NASA)

Last Thursday, the United States overwhelmingly passed a new round of sanctions against Russia, taking the executive actions made by then president Barack Obama in December 2016 and putting them into law. Congress also wrote its legislation such that the White House must get Congressional approval prior to any easing of sanctions against Russia. Despite some concerns about the law, President Donald Trump has said he will sign the bill.

Obama leveled these sanctions, including the dismissal of many Russian diplomats in the United States, following credible reports that the foreign adversary had meddled in the US presidential election. Russian President Vladimir Putin took no action at the time, believing he could work with President Trump to ease the restrictions. But after the Congressional action, Putin acted this weekend to remove hundreds of US diplomats from Russia. The number of US diplomats and Russian nationals employed as staff by the US government must now be 455, the same number Russia has in the United States.

In its most recent round of sanctions, the US government took care to carve out exceptions for key industries, including aerospace. This allows the American rocket company United Launch Alliance to continue to procure RD-180 engines for its Altas V rocket, and for NASA to continue smooth relations with Russia for its partnership with the International Space Station. Three astronauts, from NASA, Italy, and Russia, launched aboard a Russian spacecraft Friday to the station.

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The complete history of the IBM PC, part two: The DOS empire strikes

July 31st, 2017

Nota bene: This is the concluding part of the surprisingly interesting history of the IBM PC. You should probably read part one of the story if you haven’t already.

In November 1979, Microsoft’s frequent partner Seattle Computer Products released a standalone Intel 8086 motherboard for hardcore hobbyists and computer manufacturers looking to experiment with this new and very powerful CPU. The 8086 was closely related to the 8088 that IBM chose for the PC; the latter was a cost-reduced version of the former, an 8-bit/16-bit hybrid chip rather than a pure 16-bit like the 8086.

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Posted in Biz & IT, computer history, Features, IBM, IBM PC, Tech | Comments (0)

RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56: AMD will “trade blows” with GTX 1080 for $499

July 31st, 2017


RX Vega—AMD’s long awaited follow up to the two-year-old Fury and Fury X high-performance graphics cards—launches on August 14 in two core versions: the $499 Radeon RX Vega 64, and the $399 Radeon RX Vega 56 (UK prices TBC).

A limited edition version of RX Vega 64, which features a slick aluminium shroud, costs $599 as part of a bundle that includes discounts on a Freesync monitor, X370 motherboard, and free games. A watercooled version of RX Vega 64, dubbed Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition, also comes in a similar bundle pack priced at $699.

According to those in attendance at Siggraph, where AMD made its RX Vega announcements, much of the focus was on the value proposition of RX Vega bundles and features like Freesync, rather than all out performance. Anandtech has been told Vega 64 will “trade blows” with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080, which launched way back in May of 2016. The launch of Vega Frontier Edition (a production-focused graphics card) in June hinted at such levels of performance—RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 are based on the same Vega 10 GPU and architecture.

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Posted in AMD, Gaming & Culture, GPUs, graphics cards, NVIDIA, PC gaming, RX Vega, Tech, vega | Comments (0)

Hackers Take Over US Voting Machines In Just 90 Minutes

July 31st, 2017

Image Credit: @tjhorner

Today, election hacking is not just about hacking voting machines, rather it now also includes hacking and leaking dirty secrets of the targeted political parties—and there won’t be a perfect example than the last year’s US presidential election.

But, in countries like America, even hacking electronic voting machines is possible—that too, in a matter of minutes.

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