Advanced surveillance system puts mobile first for stealing dataAn investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and security firm Lookout have uncovered Dark Caracal, a highly advanced spying platform sucking huge amounts of data from mobiles and desktops around the world.Dark Caracal [PDF] appears to be run out of the Lebanon General Directorate of General Security (GDGS) in Beirut and has slurped hundreds of gigabytes of information, primary from mobile phones and also desktops."This is definitely one group using the same infrastructure," Eva Galperin, the EFF's Director of Cybersecurity told The Register.Dark Caracal has been taking information from thousands of malware-infected targets in over 21 countries, including include documents, call records, audio recordings, secure messaging client content, contact information, text messages, photos, and account data from military, government and business targets, as well as activists and journalists.After the EFF released the Operation Manul report Lookout went looking through its samples database to try and find the mobile malware responsible.
Singapore’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) has engaged 50 social media influencers to raise awareness of the annual Budget 2018, where the city-state government announces its budgets for the year.The move is a bid to reach out to a younger audience about the importance of financial planning, through social media platforms like Instagram.MOF worked with influencer marketing company StarNgage for this campaign.The influencers, who have around 40,000 of followers combined on Instagram, post photos of themselves, encouraging followers to visit the Budget website to learn more and to share their feedback with government feedback unit, Reach on its website and at its physical "listening posts".Meanwhile, other influencers share photos of their daily lives with captions about how the Budget relates to them.All the posts are tagged with SGBudget2018 MOFSG sponsored MOFxStarNgage.
Multiplexing-over-UDP idea has hit the standards track, but is mostly ignoredGoogle's contribution to Internet standards, the fast-than-TCP thanks to multiplexing QUIC protocol, has yet to extend much beyond the Chocolate Factory, according to a German report into its adoption.An experiment from 2012, Google's Quick UDP Internet Connections hit the standards track with this Internet Draft, and an IETF working group established in 2016.Jan Rüth and Oliver Hohlfeld (RWTH Aachen University), Ingmar Poese (German analytics company Benocs), and Christoph Dietzel (Technical University, Berlin) probed the Internet to count QUIC-enabled servers, and analysed traffic to work out just how much QUIC traffic exists.While there are more than 600,000 QUIC-capable IP addresses, it seems sysadmins are still learning how it works, since there are only 161,000 domains hosted on QUIC-capable infrastructure, and of those, only 15,000 presented valid certificates over QUIC.“Overall QUIC support is very low,” they wrote.
A mirror which gives you skincare advice or a device which tells you what your dog is saying; how ready are you for the home of tomorrow?Here, Heshaam Hague, Outreach Executive from Service Octopus give us a view into what the smart homes of the future will look like.The clean, green and connected – how the kitchens of tomorrow will communicate like never before.Although all areas of the house are becoming increasingly high tech – take the bed that automatically adjusts to improve the quality of sleep or the toilet that can diagnose medical conditions for example – it’s the kitchen that seems to be emerging as the tech hub of the home.From tables that give you recipe ideas to fridges that tell you when it’s time to go to the shop, the kitchens of tomorrow will be better connected and more communicative than ever.So exactly what will our kitchens look like in the future and how will they behave in five, ten or even 20 years?
From gorgeous wallpaper OLED displays to wall-sized MicroLED monsters, the biggest evolutions in TV technology took center stage at this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas.But while high rollers may be licking their chops for the opportunity to buy the latest and greatest 8K screen for their home theaters, average consumers — especially those who are just now considering the leap to a new 4K Ultra HD TV — may be a bit nervous about the news of a new, next-gen resolution.“8K?” we imagine crowds of consumers declaring incredulously in their collective living rooms, “I don’t even have 4K yet!”The good news is, this nothing worth fretting about.While 8K resolutions will begin to trickle into the top end of the market this year, we’re sure that by the time you actually buy one, you’ll be saying the same thing about some other cutting-edge TV tech.Improvements in screen resolution and display technology like high dynamic range (HDR) have been coming fairly steadily over the past two decades, and while there are always curmudgeons who don’t want things to change, technology always gets better, picture quality always gets better, and everybody’s living room eventually wins.
Many homes contain only two people, making the typical dishwasher you find at appliance stores unnecessarily large.Rather than having a large dishwasher that takes up a bunch of space, Heatworks presents Tetra as a compact solution; it sits on a countertop and plugs into a regular wall outlet, no plumbing necessary.Tetra doesn’t just wash dishes, though, also being adequate for sanitizing certain products and even cooking seafood.Heatworks Tetra has a design that would pair well with typical modern home decor, and it doesn’t require any plumbing fixtures to be installed in a home before it can be used.The appliance is also very water efficient, potentially saving hundreds of gallons of water per year for two-person households.The company explains that Tetra can hold enough dishes for two full place settings, such as plates, bowls, cups and silverware; it also has enough space to accommodate 12 pint glasses at once or 10 plates at once, but not all of them together at the same time.
Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have, for the first time, coaxed human stem cells to become sensory interneurons -- the cells that give us our sense of touch.The new protocol could be a step toward stem cell-based therapies to restore sensation in paralyzed people who have lost feeling in parts of their body.Sensory interneurons, a class of neurons in the spinal cord, are responsible for relaying information from throughout the body to the central nervous system, which enables the sense of touch.The lack of a sense of touch greatly affects people who are paralyzed.For example, they often cannot feel the touch of another person, and the inability to feel pain leaves them susceptible to burns from inadvertent contact with a hot surface.In a separate study, published in September by the journal eLife, Butler and her colleagues discovered how signals from a family of proteins called bone morphogenetic proteins, or BMPs, influence the development of sensory interneurons in chicken embryos.
Sennheiser is one of the best known companies in the audio world, and yet it’s never made a consumer speaker.The prototype’s body is unfinished, but the speakers are working.I got to hear them inside a small, square room, as a Sennheiser representative switched between nature sounds, musical performances, and movie action sequences, including the snowstorm and the beginning of Fury Road.But I didn’t need to hear half of that to realize Sennheiser’s first soundbar sounded way better than any soundbar ought to.The soundbar has 13 drivers — six four-inch woofers, five tweeters, and two top-firing speakers — and Sennheiser describes the system as producing virtual 5.1.4 sound, with that final “4” representing speakers virtually mounted in each corner of the room.Unfortunately, the system also has to be pretty chunky in order to fit all that inside.
(Reuters) — U.S. Senate Democrats said on Tuesday they will force a vote later this year on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s reversal of landmark Obama administration net neutrality rules and will try to make it a key issue in the 2018 congressional elections.Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the issue will be a major motivating factor for young voters the party is courting.“We’re going to let everyone know where we stand and they stand,” Schumer said at a Capitol Hill news conference in Washington.The FCC voted in December along party lines to reverse rules introduced in 2015 that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes.A group of state attorneys general immediately vowed to sue.A trade group representing major tech companies including Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com Inc said last week it will back legal challenges to the reversal.
Until now, the best look we’d had at the Huawei P20 – or Huawei P11 as it might be called – was a basic sketch, but now several renders have emerged showing the phone in far more detail.The images, which were posted to Weibo and spotted by TechnoCodex, show a phone with tiny bezels above and below the screen and a very small home button in the bottom bezel.Round the back the Huawei P20 looks plain other than a trio of cameras.It also appears that the back is glass, while the frame is metal.While this is the closest look we’ve had yet at the possible design of the Huawei P20 we still wouldn’t count on these images being accurate, as they’re low quality and could easily have been created based on the aforementioned sketch, which is identical other than a seemingly shaded strip that the camera lenses sit in which isn’t present here.A later launch and a new name
Chinese audio brand 1More loves to make a splash at Pepcom’s Digital Experience, the unofficial “show before the show” at CES, and this year was no exception.The company brought a great new update of its popular Triple Driver headphones to the party, going wireless in a brilliant way, as well as an intriguing new pair of gaming headphones that bring the boom.The wireless Triple Driver haven’t cut the cord entirely, as is the trend with so many wireless headphones these days.Instead 1More chose the halo style that has become a staple of the genre, but they do so in a very cool form factor, offering a bendable, twistable, loosey-goosey band in what appears to be faux leather, connecting to dual metallic arms that extend with short wires to connect the earbuds.Inside the buds are the same triple drivers that account for their namesake, including dual armature drivers for accurate higher frequency reproduction, and a single dynamic driver for warm and rich bass response.Other features include a singular button for calling up Google Assistant (or the assistant of your choice, says 1More) as well as the usual power, pairing and volume controls you’d expect from a standard pair of wireless earphones.
A Range Rover Velar in NYC.Jaguar Land RoverJaguar Land Rover unveiled the 2018 Range Rover Velar at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.The Velar is a stylish, high-tech SUV designed go head-to-head with the best Germany has to offer.With the market for luxury crossover and SUV ready for the taking, Jaguar Land Rover is going all in.At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the company unveiled the all-new 2018 Range Rover Velar.That means taking on segment leaders such as the Porsche Macan and the Audi Q5.
Chinese wearables maker NO.1 are always innovating and, after launching the F5 smartwatch around 2 months ago, they’re now back with its successor – the NO.1 F6.Let’s have a closer look!The NO.1 F6 is the latest product in the company’s portfolio of smartwatches aimed at outdoor sport people.As such it comes with everything you need to have a fully capable fitness companion, going from the 2nd generation dynamic heart rate monitoring (working 24h/7) to the step counter, calories burnt and distance walked calculators.Additionally, the F6 also does sleep monitoring, it can show notifications from callers, SMSs and messages from other apps as well.What’s the real highlight of the watch is the battery though.
After commercially launching its wallpaper OLED TV at least year’s CES, LG’s 2018 showing was bound to be a little less flashy.And yes, the TVs themselves look largely similar to their 2017 predecessors.But although design hasn’t seen any real overhaul, LG has made significant refinements to image processing and is putting a big focus on its ThinQ artificial intelligence platform.However, the TVs themselves lack HDMI 2.1, which is necessary to receive those higher frame rates from external devices.So you’ll be limited to built-in streaming apps for HFR content.That’s a tad disappointing, but this whole point is a bit moot for now since there’s not much 120fps content in existence on Netflix or Prime Video.
Kweli.tv aims to be the go-to streaming media platform for black filmmakers all over the world to share their content and make money from its distribution.“There are a lot of really great filmmakers out there globally,” KweliTV founder DeShuna Spencer told me.“For us, we’re offering an avenue for filmmakers of color to make money off of their work and be celebrated for the work they do.”Perhaps, more importantly, KweliTV wants to be a source of authentic storytelling of the black community from the black perspective.For example, black families represent 59 percent of the poor in mainstream media even though they make up just 27 percent of low-income people, according to Color of Change.Kweli, which means “truth” in Swahili, aims to tell all sides of the black experience.
A few days ago DraftKings announced an NFL product called Showdown, which lets you play in a fantasy football contest centered around just a single football game.This means that all your players will be drafted from just the two teams playing in that game.Lineups will consist of only six players – four offensive players and two defensive players.Later today it’s being tested for the first time during the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints playoff game at 4:40pm ET.And DraftKings plans to continue offering Showdown throughout the NFC and AFC championship game.If it’s well received, don’t be surprised to see DraftKings make it available during the regular season next year, or even expand it to other sports.
But in the interests of presenting a more balanced narrative around automation-powered UXes we’ve included some alternative thoughts after each listed item which consider the nature of the value exchange being required for smartphone users to tap into these touted ‘AI smarts’ — and thus some potential drawbacks too.Whereas government agencies and businesses would surely love to get dynamic access to our mood data for all sorts of reasons…“Continuous training and deep learning on smartphones will improve the accuracy of speech recognition, while better understanding the user’s specific intentions.For instance, when a user says “the weather is cold,” depending on the context, his or her real intention could be “please order a jacket online” or “please turn up the heat.” As an example, natural-language understanding could be used as a near real-time voice translator on smartphones when traveling abroad.”While we can all surely still dream of having our own personal babelfish — even given the cautionary warning against human hubris embedded in the biblical allegory to which the concept alludes — it would be a very impressive AI assistant that could automagically select the perfect jacket to buy its owner after they had casually opined that “the weather is cold”.Or else who feels there’s a life-enhancing difference between having to directly ask an Internet connected robot assistant to “please turn up the heat” vs having a robot assistant 24/7 spying on you so it can autonomously apply calculated agency to choose to turn up the heat when it overheard you talking about the cold weather — even though you were actually just talking about the weather, not secretly asking the house to be magically willed warmer.
Huawei’s President Ren Zhengfei recently disclosed that the company shipped 153 million smartphones in 2017 which is a 10% rise from 2016’s figure.This year, Huawei is seeking to increase its shipments and it appears that its strategy will be to concentrate on the low-budget market.Mr. Zhengfei said at an internal meeting that the global market will be better tapped if the company focusses on low-end smartphones.“It is important to use low-priced products to defend our high-end smartphone market to make more profits.Low-end smartphones meet the needs of the general public, accounting for 95 percent of the total consumers in the world,”In order to create a balance, Mr. Zhengfei believes that the low-end products will defend its high-end smartphones and more profit will be accrued.
Despite its best efforts, Microsoft’s Groove Music service never really caught on.So back in October, Microsoft shut the service down and told its users to switch to Spotify.Unfortunately, that decision had some unintended consequences for Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, which relied on Groove Music’s library to help people identify songs.What you are seeing is expected.Due to the shutdown of the Groove Music service Cortana music recognition has also been retired.— Jason Deakins (@JasonDeakins) January 3, 2018
Sony is working on updates to three of its low- to mid-range lines, Xperia XA, XA Ultra, and L, which may be introduced as soon as next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.However, the Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra (pictured top and below), and L2, as they’ll be known, may also be held for a February debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — as they have been in past years.Currently, more details are known about the two new XA series models — a lineup entering its third iteration, following the 2006’s XA and 2007’s XA1 pairings — thanks to specs revealed through the GFXBench benchmark.The biggest change to these mid-range models appears to be their transition from Mediatek systems-on-chip to Qualcomm Snapdragon 630s (2.2GHz octa core).And whereas the Xperia XA1 has a 5.0-inch, 720 x 1280 display, the 5.2-inch XA2 (pictured above and below) looks to offer the same full HD, 1080 x 1920 resolution as the larger 6.0-inch XA2 Ultra (whose display characteristics are remaining unchanged, year-to-year).While both models’ memory configurations should remain static as well (4GB / 64GB and 3GB / 32GB RAM and storage for the XA2 Ultra and XA2, respectively), they do look to be getting refreshed imaging components.