David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

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Following 24
UK
At long last, the Tor Project is releasing an official web browser for Android users.The new Android app is available now as an alpha release in Google’s Play Store and on the experimental releases section of the Project’s download page.Even if you don’t use the Tor Browser to browse the web more securely or don’t want to screw with an alpha release, this is an app you should keep an eye on.Mobile devices are the primary way many people get online, yet the tools for doing so privately often work better on desktop machines.As the Project points out, regions where desktop machines are less common are also often heavily targeted by both government surveillance and censorship tools, making this release especially crucial.Third-party Tor browsers were (and continue to be) an option for Android users, but there was never an official mobile counterpart to the desktop browser — which, by the way, just recently got a major update.
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UK
The sinister sister from The Conjuring 2 was so chilling, she’s back with her very own spin-off prequel.These segments are useful; they slot the film into its proper place in the Conjuring universe and provide a sly way to get Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga (star of The Conjuring films and The Nun, respectively) into the same movie.Well, there are an awful lot of scenes in underlit hallways filled with shadowy doorways, all the better for the nun to dramatically lurk and loom and occasionally show her yellow eyes and pointy teeth.After about the fifth or sixth time a dark, wimple-topped shape suddenly materialised in the frame, it dawned on me: the nun is boring.The most exciting thing about her in The Conjuring 2, which is set 25 years after The Nun, was that she was totally, bizarrely out of place — like, why is this twisted religious symbol popping up in Lorraine Warren’s rec room, or working in cahoots with a British poltergeist?But it makes things way less dynamic than they could be.
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UK
As mobile phones have become more advanced we've seen the content we consume on them evolve as well; not so long ago we were blown away by the fact that we could share images on our handsets or listen to music, but now your average smartphone is used for streaming HD video, consuming entire albums and providing an online experience which is close to that which you'd get on a desktop computer.Given these points, how far away are we from the dream of an always-on connection which delivers the kind of speed we need for HD – or even 4K – movie streaming, no matter where we are?"With latency sub-50ms and average speeds of 30Mbps – with peak speeds as high as 400Mbps – many consumers have a great mobile video experience already.Where I am right now, my smartphone is able to download at well over 100Mb/sec, so for watching TV or video, it's perfect with no buffering.""There are still blackspots, but we’re removing them every single day with brand new sites or new frequencies that reach further," he says.McRae admits that network providers naturally focus on areas that are densely populated, but the aim is to remove all 'notspots' as soon as possible so that everyone has at least a connection, and that then paves the way for advanced technology like 5G.
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UK
A new report says Apple is in talks with the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal about providing content for an upcoming subscription service – possibly a sort of Netflix for magazines and newspapers.As reported by Recode, Apple executives are busy trying to get the major newspapers on board ready to launch a new service at some point in 2019.Apple already has part of the plan in place: it picked up Texture, which gives users access to more than 200 magazines for a flat $9.99 monthly fee, earlier this year.Now newspapers could be added to the mix, and based on previous rumors, music and television content would be thrown in as well.Next year you might be able to pay Apple one monthly fee for everything you want to watch, listen to and read.Has Apple got news for you
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UK
The judgment [PDF] concerns Charter Communications and stems from a decision by the biz to break off its VoIP services into a new company called Charter Advanced, specifically to sidestep some of the regulatory requirements around running a traditional phone services – which would be considered a highly regulated public utility.The FCC administration late last year controversially scrapped its own rules over net neutrality – a move that reclassified the internet from a highly regulated Title II public utility to a loosely regulated information service.The decision by Charter to spin-off its VoIP services prompted the Minnesota Department of Commerce to complain formally to its Public Utilities Commission that the effort broke state laws.And Charter fought back, claiming that because its VoIP service uses internet technology and comes with additional services like voicemail-to-text, caller ID appearing on a television, and the ability to use an app to access the service, it was no longer just a "telecommunications service" but an "information service."The decision was taken to the appeals court, which on Friday upheld that lower court's ruling, throwing aside the claim that the VoIP service fits into one of the exceptions to an "information service" that is included in the relevant 1996 Telecommunications Act.Those exceptions include services that comprise a "capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system" and those that "involve communications between an end user and the network itself" – which would appear to point to VoIP.
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UK
A former NASA contractor has been arrested for allegedly hacking into several women’s Facebook and email accounts in order to obtain intimate photos, and using them as blackmail unless they provided him with additional nude photos.The man, 28-year-old Richard Gregory Bauer, was arrested on Thursday.Bauer allegedly used social engineering tactics in order to obtain information to hack into the women’s online accounts.According to a news release from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), he messaged a few of his victims using his actual name, purporting to be conducting research for a “human societies class.” The questions he asked his victims incorporated common password reset questions, such as what was their first pet’s name, where did their parents meet, and what was the first car they owned, according to the indictment.Bauer is also accused of targeting women by convincing them to download malware under the guise that it was innocuous software he needed help testing.Bauer allegedly targeted seven women in total, from around February 2015 through around June 2018.
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US
Scientists from Waseda University, the National Defense Medical College, and the Japan Science and Technology Agency developed a new bioadhesive, wirelessly-powered light-emitting device which could better treat cancers in delicate organs.Conventional photodynamic therapy induces cancer cell death by using photosensitizing agents, which localize in tumors and activate with exposure to a specific wavelength of light.In recent years, low-dose and long-term photodynamic therapy (metronomic photodynamic therapy, mPDT) has shown promise in treating cancers in internal organs."To address this issue, we have developed a wirelessly-powered optoelectronic device that stably fixes itself onto the inner surface of an animal tissue like a sticker with bioadhesive and elastic nanosheets, enabling a continuous, local light delivery to the tumor," says Toshinori Fujie, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Waseda University.The nanosheets are modified with the mussel adhesive protein-inspired polymer polydopamine, which can stabilize the device onto a wet animal tissue for more than 2 weeks without surgical suturing or medical glue.The experiment showed that the tumor growth was significantly reduced overall.
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UK
Lexus has revealed its latest luxury vehicle, though the LY 650 yacht is designed for the high seas, not the highway.Described as the fourth addition to the Lexus flagship range, the vessel joins its land-locked LS sedan, LX SUV, and LC coupe siblings as a high-end transportation option with striking styling.It’s inspired by the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept, the boat that Lexus’ designers showed off in 2017 as an offshoot from their car design work.The automaker confirmed it had production plans for a larger boat intended to sale, based off the concept, back in March of this year.Now, we’re seeing the results.Bigger and more imposing than the Sport Yacht Concept, the Lexus LY 650 comes in at 65 feet long and has a 19 foot beam.
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UK
The relationship between Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones has been kept pretty vague.So, is Tyrion in love with the Mother of Dragons, or does he simply admire her cause?In an interview, Peter Dinklage confirmed that — at least in his mind and performance — Tyrion may have fallen hard.Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Dinklage chatted about what he felt Tyrion’s reaction was after he found out Jon Snow and Dany had started bumping familial uglies.He jokingly opened with “Keep it down over there, I’m trying to get some sleep!” but then revealed that he sees Tyrion as having romantic feelings for Daenerys, being jealous of Jon Snow, and wanting what’s best for them and Westeros:A lot of the time with Tyrion, it’s professional and personal.
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UK
iOS 12, Apple’s latest and greatest mobile operating system, is only days away from a full-scale rollout.And if its beta is any indication, iPhone and iPad users are in for a load of new iOS 12 features and improvements.Better search and sharing for photos, more Siri access to third-party apps, and even Memojis (emojis customized to look like you) are all a part of this new update.How about changes for those who craft iPhone and iPad apps?Some of the new shifts could be vital, which is why the 10-Day iPhone App Bootcamp can get newbies and experienced pro developers up to speed.Best of all, the training is just $15, an over 90 percent savings, from TNW Deals.
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US
BMW has made a bold statement this week, breaking free from the shackles of Silicon Valley.In launching its own virtual assistant, BMW is confident it can deliver a better experience than Google, Amazon or Microsoft.From March 2019, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will be powering the automotive experience.Whether its checking traffic conditions, learning your habits to create journeys which incorporate a McDonalds Drive Thru, telling you how certain features work or operating functions through the voice interface, it’s the futuristic dream which has been promised by artificial intelligence.Not only for the connected car or digital services, but also in the classic IT, with autonomous driving it becomes very important,” said Dieter May, SVP of Digital Products at BMW“I think our assistant needs to have the capabilities to operate the car at the end of the day and that is why we believe for safety and integrity reasons we need to manage that customer interface.
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China
The amount of financing on Chinese blockchain-related projects in January 2018 alone reached $100 million.Private industries, the central government, local governments, and academia are all invested in the technology and cover sectors from finance, energy, and medical to supply chain, entertainment, and social media.In the private sector, Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent have been displaying strong initiatives in blockchain development by partnering with the city of Changzhou and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing to advance the medical and logistics sectors, respectively.Local governments have also issued policies to encourage blockchain development, with Shenzhen and Hangzhou launching dedicated funds for blockchain projects.Although of late the government has been clamping down even harder on cryptocurrency speculation, the People’s Bank of China’s filing of over 40 blockchain patent applications suggest the country’s plan for a state-backed digital currency combining the core features of cryptocurrency and the existing monetary system.Blockchain in the supply chain has many strong points—it’s immutable, tamper-proof, and traceable, meaning any false data along the chain can be traced back to the offender, therefore creating liability and incentive for honesty.
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A maverick space technologist mired himself further in a pointless libel battle.Read more: Elon Musk's fall should bring our expectations down to earthLet’s start with Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, whose vision of a magic machine that could detect cancer from a finger-prick of blood held the tech and medical worlds spellbound – until it transpired that it didn’t work.The rise and fall of Theranos is a lesson for all of us in this tech-fuelled age, where saving the world has become the mission of Silicon Valley disciples.It is not clear whether Holmes believed her own fantasy about her miracle blood-testing machine, but she was compelling enough to raise $700m worth of funding and lure big names (most notably former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger) onto the board.After a series of crises and redemption efforts, Holmes was finally forced out in March 2018, and now faces criminal charges for wire fraud.
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He and 11 others have been charged with treason after one of the vehicles in Museveni’s convoy was pelted with stones at a campaign rally.In full view of the public, journalists covering protests in Kampala calling for Wine’s release were brutally assaulted.But there are pockets of dissent emerging from digital platforms whose practical political consequences are being slowly realized.A number of newspapers as well as radio and TV stations have been shut down over the years, always at the whim of the president.Arrests, kidnapping and torture are common.Museveni defended the move, calling it a security measure to avert lies intended to incite violence and illegal declaration of results.
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China
Chinese cycle-hire firm Mobike pulls out of Manchester after losing one-in-10 rental bikes to theft or vandalism– Daily MailWhat happened: Bike rental operator Mobike has withdrawn bikes in Manchester after one in ten of their bikes were stolen or vandalized.The customers in the city will have their deposits and credit refunded in the next few days.The bikes will be transported to other cities the company is operating in, such as London, Oxford, Cambridge, and Newcastle.Why it’s important: Chinese bike rental giants Mobike and ofo have launched aggressive global expansion plans since the beginning of last year.But as the market cools, both of the companies choose to retrench their overseas operation.
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China
Baidu apologises for ‘scam ads’ that showed up in search for US consulate in Shanghai —SCMPWhat happened: China’s most popular search engine Baidu apologized after being publicly slammed by a user on Weibo in a post that went viral.The user encountered a number of advertisements for visa agencies during her search instead of the official site of the US consulate in Shanghai.The user named Liu Liu asked Baidu and its founder Robin Li if their business was search engines or fraud.Why it’s important: The search engine is Baidu’s biggest business but also its biggest pain spot.In 2016, Baidu came under attention when a young cancer patent accused the search engine of sending him towards a medical institution offering fake treatment and eventually his death.
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US
Twitter is testing a new web experience with a focus on its Bookmarks and Explore tab.The social network announced in a tweet, “Love to use Bookmarks and want it on web?Into scrolling through Explore to see what’s happening?We are testing out a new Twitter for web, which a small number of people will see today.Don’t have the new experience?Love to use Bookmarks and want it on web?
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UK
We’ve seen not a few smart mirrors around the Internet lately.Some of them, like Samsung’s Mirror Display, are designed for business customers.Many come as DIY projects for the brave of heart.A new startup named MIRROR is aiming to change that with its eponymous first product, a one-way smart mirror that takes away any excuse not to go to the gym by bringing the gym to you instead.If you look at it from a purely technical point of view, the MIRROR simply aggregates technologies we’ve seen before and have already existed for some time now.are almost staples of today’s hi-tech world.
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UK
Following a discovery earlier this week by AnandTech that Huawei’s P20 flagship handset was fudging its numbers in graphics benchmarking app 3DMark, the phone's results have been delisted from the official results site, along with three other Huawei handsets.UL Benchmarks – the company responsible for popular mobile and desktop benchmarking software such as 3DMark, PCMark and VRMark – released a statement about the delisting, claiming that it ran its own tests which confirmed AnandTech’s results and had subsequently delisted the Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei P20, Huawei Nova 3 and the Honor Play (a sub-brand of Huawei) as a result.Specifically, UL found that Huawei had incorporated a hidden performance mode into its handsets, which only activated when the devices recognized the 3DMark app being run.This would bypass the phones’ typical restrictions on battery use and heat levels in order to eke out as much power as possible.When UL compared the public version of 3DMark on these handsets with their own private benchmarks, they found that this performance mode boosted the handsets' scores by up to 47%.While the existence of high-performance modes on phones isn’t inherently cheating, UL’s benchmarking rules state that these modes must be disabled when running the benchmark.
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US
Feeling like a hack is more common than you might think.In fact, 58 percent of people with technology-focused careers suffer from Impostor Syndrome, according to a new informal study from workplace social media site Blind.Impostor Syndrome was first defined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes as a feeling of "phoniness in people who believe they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement."In 1978, the two psychologists studied 150 highly successful women who, despite degrees, scholastic honors, high scores on standardized tests and professional recognition from colleagues and respected authorities, considered themselves to be impostors.A more recent study in 2011 published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science found that an estimated 70 percent of people experience impostor syndrome at one point in their lives.The anonymous workplace social network Blind conducted a survey to determine how many of the site's users grapple with intense feelings of insecurity in tech fields.
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