devices

Mon
04
Aug
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Researchers: Avoid Using USB Flash Drives

A new report suggests that most USB flash drives (also known as thumb drives) have a critical security weakness that allows them to be reconfigured, giving hackers an opportunity to silently infect targeted computer systems with malware . The report ... comes from Germany's Security Research Labs, which says that most companies making USB flash drives fail to protect the firmware installed on their devices. That means attackers could easily hack and replace the firmware with a malicious version of the firmware, which is then capable of delivering a payload onto a victim's PC - usually with ... (view more)

Wed
25
Jun
John Lister's picture

Google To Make Homes Even Smarter

If you could control the majority of your home and appliances with a smartphone, which devices would you want to control? Google has pondered that very question, and has recently announced plans to open up its 'Nest' technology to independent ... developers, so that household gadgets can easily communicate with one another. Nest, which Google bought for $3.2 billion in this past January, made its name with an "intelligent" thermostat system. The system automatically learns your patterns of activities in the home with preferred heating and cooling levels. It then automatically develops a ... (view more)

Wed
05
Mar
John Lister's picture

Facebook Drones Could Bring Internet Everywhere

Facebook is said to be buying a company that makes airborne drones. It seems it's not an attempt to carry out snooping or attack rivals, but rather a plan to extend Internet access to places it's impossible to reach at the moment. The company in ... question is Titan Aerospace, which manufactures what it calls "atmospheric satellites." Unlike traditional satellites, they operate around 20 kilometers (12 miles) above Earth, which is just short of the point of being in orbit. Drones such as the Solara 50 look and operate similar to an airplane, but have solar panels on its wings, ... (view more)

Tue
25
Feb
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Windows 8 Update Makes Using Keyboard, Mouse Easier

Microsoft has announced that it plans to release its first major update for Windows 8.1 this spring, and it's called "Update 1". The biggest improvement, according to the firm, is that Windows 8.1 will become easier to use with a mouse and keyboard. ... Microsoft's first significant update to Windows 8 was Windows 8.1, which was released last fall. Windows 8.1 Update 1 expands upon that, and has been rumored for a spring 2014 release for some time. To date, however, Microsoft has said very little about what's included in the package. Windows 8.1 Update 1: Easier for Mouse, ... (view more)

Mon
24
Feb
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Just a Fad? Samsung Unveils Smartwatch 'Gear 2'

Writing text messages, sending emails, and taking photos can all be done using smartphones, tablets, and traditional computers, such as laptops and desktops. The question is: do we need yet another device that gives us instant access to more data ... and will it be useful? And if so, is that device a "smartwatch"? Samsung certainly thinks so. The firm, which released its first smartwatch in the form of the Galaxy Gear late last year, has now unveiled the Samsung Gear 2. Most notably, the Korean firm's newest smartwatch boasts a brand new operating system, called "Tizen." ... (view more)

Tue
17
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Joins Group Determined to Kill Passwords

Microsoft has joined a group determined to ditch the traditional password as a security measure. The group wants to develop alternatives that are more capable of protecting our favorite devices and most sensitive data. The group is called the FIDO ... (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, which is based around the idea that passwords, although widely used and easy to understand, are an inherently flawed security measure because they can be guessed or stolen. Although many new authentication measures -- such as fingerprint scans -- have emerged and are more secure from a technical perspective, FIDO ... (view more)

Wed
11
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

'AllJoyn' Connects Your Home Appliances to the Web

Several major technology firms have reached a deal that could make it easier for people to connect ordinary household gadgets to the Internet. That could make life easier for consumers, but it also raises concerns about security. For many years tech ... experts have talked about "the Internet of things," or the idea that it's limiting to think of the web as simply a bunch of computers connected to one another. Instead, we now have numerous devices that can use an Internet connection: from televisions that can access on-demand services such as Netflix, to heating systems that can check weather ... (view more)

Tue
19
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Patches Security Flaws Exposed by 'Pwn2Own'

Google has already patched a security flaw exposed by a public hacking contest. Chrome and Internet Explorer were both hacked at the Tokyo event, though contestants said doing so is getting tougher all the time. The contest is called "Pwn2Own," and ... the idea behind it is that the first person to successfully hack a computer or mobile device wins the compromised hardware and a cash prize. But winning is really about gaining prestige in the security community. Similar contests have concentrated on desktop computers, but this event focused on mobile devices. One participant successfully ... (view more)

Thu
12
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft-Nokia Merger 'Doomed', New Report Says

A new report from CBS Money Watch questions the viability of Microsoft's recent acquisition of Nokia's phone business. The problem: both firms have fallen on tough times of late, meaning consumer confidence in their products is at an all-time low. ... At the same time, there just aren't enough apps available for Windows Phone devices. The devices division of 150-year-old Finnish communications firm Nokia was recently acquired by Microsoft for $7.2 billion. Many experts see the acquisition as an extension of an existing relationship between the two firms. It's a relationship that has involved ... (view more)

Wed
31
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Asus Ditches Windows RT, Opts for Windows 8.1

PC manufacturer Asus appears to be moving away from plans to build devices running Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, a slimmed-down version of Windows 8. According to Asus Chairman Jonney Shih, the firm is focusing on building tablet ... computers employing the Windows 8.1 platform. In discussing consumers' reaction to Windows RT tablet PCs, Shih noted that "the result is not very promising." Asus is only the most recent PC manufacturer to back away from Windows RT . Lenovo has also decided to cancel all plans for future Windows RT tablets, and that has meant abandoning the firm's IdeaPad ... (view more)

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