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Showing posts from June, 2017

Hacking and Linux Go Together Like 2 Keys in a Key Pair

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Ever since taking an interest Linux, with the specific aim of better understanding and enhancing my personal digital security, I have been fascinated by hacker conferences. As soon as I learned of their existence, I made a point of keeping tabs on the major conferences so I could browse through the latest videos in their archive once each one wraps up. I thought that was the closest I would get to such an event, but a couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to attend one for the first time: Chicago's THOTCON. While I'm definitely still swimming in all the experiences I had, I wanted to share a few of my observations and insights.
At this point I can practically hear you asking, "Wait, you said hacker conference? For security?" So, before I go on, I should explain a bit about the interrelationship between hacking and security.
Ebony and Ivory?The information security, or InfoSec, field is built on hacking. Without the latter, the former would be both impossible and pointle…

Android Creator Launches a Phone of His Own

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Essential, a company founded by Andy Rubin, the "father of Android," on Tuesday pulled off the wraps on a new high-end smartphone. The Essential Phone, priced at US$699, includes radios for connecting to all major U.S. carriers.
The unit has an almost edge-to-edge display (there's a bit of bezel at the bottom of its screen) that wraps around the 8-MP selfie camera at the front.
Built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the Essential Phone comes with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
For durability, the phone has a titanium and ceramic body, which allows it to survive drops with nary a blemish, according to the company.
Magnetic AccessoriesAccessories can be added to the phone via a magnetic connector on its backside. Two accessories are included with the unit -- a 360-degree camera and a charging dock.
Also on the phone's back is 13-MP dual sensor camera. Unlike other phones with dual-sensor cameras, which use the second sensor to take telephoto pictures or create…

Microsoft Partners Heed Mixed-Reality Call

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Microsoft on Wednesday showcased a new series of mixed reality headsets from partner firms Acer, HP, Asus, Dell and Lenovo at Computex 2017. The preview marked the company's commitment to establish Windows 10 as a leading driver of mixed reality capabilities, as well as to open up the market to a wider variety of price points and consumer demographics.
"These devices, coming to market this holiday, use Microsoft's platform to enable a single and consistent user interface, standardized inputs and a universal app platform for developers," noted Peter Han, vice president, partner devices and solutions, at Microsoft.
At Microsoft Build, held earlier this month, Alex Kipman previewed Windows Mixed Reality developer kits for the new headsets from Acer and HP. The Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is available for US$299, while the HP Windows Mixed Realty Developer Edition is available for $329.
Both devices use inside-out tracking, which negates the need for…

MTN Makes Recharge Easy With Its New VTU Alias Platform

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You can now top up your airtime and data with ease of mind using the new MTN VTU Alias platform, another first from MTN. This new platform gives you the freedom to recharge airtime and data plans without giving out your real phone numbers through MTNAlias number. All you need is to have an Alias number in place of your phone number for VTU top anytime. How it works Customer dial *323# to generate Alias Number.Alias number is generated once. No need to generate number upon every VTU top-up request.Alias number is an 11 digit code and not to be used for calls or SMSCan be used on all VTU platforms (ATMs, Quickteller, Paga etc)It is a permanent number for each customer’s phone numberSteps to create your MTN Alias Number Dial *323#Select 1 to create an AliasYou would receive a confirmation SMS with your Alias number createdForgot your Alias number? Here’s how to retrieve: Dial *323#, Select “View” from options displayed to retrieve Alias Number. This is a sponsored content.

US approves social media background checks for visa applicants

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The U.S. is buttressing its paperwork walls with new requirements for social media disclosures as part of revised visa applications. Reported by Reuters earlier today, the decision from the U.S. government’s Office of Management and Budget was made over strenuous objections from education and academic groups during a public comment period. The new questionnaire will ask for social media handles dating back over the last five years and biographical information dating back 15 years. For critics, the new questionnaire represents yet another obstacle that the government is putting in the path of potential immigrants, would-be students and qualified researchers and teachers that may otherwise want to come to the United States. Check out the new visa questionnaire here. Quoting an unnamed State Department official, Reuters reported that the additional information would only be requested when the department determines that “such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous…

Netflix cancels sci-fi drama Sense8 after just two seasons

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‘House Of Cards’ is back streaming on Netflix with its fifth series, but another Netflix Original created around the same time as the political blockbuster is being put out to pasture. ‘Sense8,’ which the streaming company announced with much fanfare in 2013, is not returning to the service after two seasons. The title was the first TV production for the Wachowski siblings, whose past work includes The Matrix among other things, and it was heralded as one of the most progressive sci-fi dramas to date. Netflix’s VP of original content, Cindy Holland, delivered the news on the company blog: “After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end. It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all aro…

LG launches a mobile payment service in Korea

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LG announced plans for its own mobile payment service way back in November 2015, and today it finally went official with the launch. The LG Pay service is initially limited to the G6, LG’s flagship smartphone, via a software update, but it is only available in Korea. There is launch support for cards from Shinhan Bank, KB, BC and Lotte, and LG plans to cover all of Korea’s card companies by September. The primary focus of the service — like rival offerings from Apple, Samsung and Google — is offline point-of-sale. LG Pay requires a user’s fingerprint to process every transaction. It uses magnetic signals to enable a mobile device to communicate with a regular credit card terminal in order to make the payment. That’s the same technique used with Samsung Pay. Users can store up to 10 cards within the service — including store loyalty cards and specific retail cards — but payment itself is made by a ‘virtual’ card number to improve privacy and keep user data safer. Beyond providing payment …

Google Home now available for pre-order in Canada

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Google Home is now available to pre-order for Canadians. Google had announced at I/O this year that it would be coming to the country this summer, but now the smart home speaker with Google Assistant built-in is available on Google’s own online store, as well as at retail partners including Best Buy. In Canada, Google Home is selling for $179.00 CDN, which is actually pretty much in line with U.S. pricing once you factor in the current currency conversion rate. The shipping time for the Google Home is listed at “2-3 weeks” for customers on Google’s own online store, and Google’s official blog says the in-store release date is June 26. Best Buy is also offering a free Chromecast with pre-orders for the Google Home, and it’ll also be available at Bell, Indigo, London Drugs, Rogers, Telus, Staples, The Source and Walmart. Google officially launched Home in the U.S. on November 4, and it became available in the U.K. on April 6, 2017. The speaker offers built-in support for Google’s virtual …

How to create the most value for the next technology wave

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Doug ClintonCONTRIBUTOR Doug Clinton is a managing partner and co-founder at Loup Ventures and previously worked as an analyst at Piper Jaffray. Major technology platforms shift every 10-15 years, with new platforms building on the ones they preceded. The PC was the platform of the early-1980s, then the internet came in the mid-1990s to improve the functionality and connectedness of PCs, then the smartphone emerged in the mid-2000s to put an internet-connected PC in everyone’s pocket. We’re due for the next major technology platform shift, and artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality are those next platforms. So how do you maximize value creation for the next wave? Here’s our answer: If you can create an operating system (OS), create an OS. If you can’t create an OS, optimize a component of the new technology platform. If you can’t optimize anything in the new platform, at least disrupt an industry that’s been relatively untouched by technology. Let’s touch on each of…