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AfterDawn: News

Teenager arrested for hacks on CIA, FBI officials

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2016 18:33

Teenager arrested for hacks on CIA, FBI officials Police in the UK have arrested a 16-year old accused of leading a group that stole information from CIA and FBI officials in the U.S.

The young hacker, going by the name "Cracka," reportedly took responsibility for breaking into the AOL email account of CIA director John Brennan last year and stealing loads of personal and sensitive data.

Cracka and his group, 'C.W.A.,' then released the names, Social Security numbers and phone numbers of at least 20 people said to be closely affiliated with the official. Many of those affected were part of President Obama's transition team following his victory in 2008.

In an anonymous interview last October, 'Cracka' said his moves were motivated by an opposition to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and his own support for Palestinians.

The attack started through social engineering tricks, with the hacker able to get personal information from Verizon telephone support that allowed him to reset Brennan's AOL password.

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AfterDawn: News

Experts: Hackers behind Sony Pictures attack are still around and active

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2016 18:15

Experts: Hackers behind Sony Pictures attack are still around and active According to Juan Andrs Guerrero-Saade, senior security researcher with Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team, and Jaime Blasco of the Lab Intelligence and Research team at AlienVault Labs, the hackers behind the massive and devastating Sony Pictures attack in 2014 are still active and could be behind some other low-profile attacks.

"[T]hey didn't disappear...not at all," Guerrero-Saade said bluntly this week. In fact, the attackers appear to be behind attacks on a nuclear power plant operator in South Korea and Samsung, and the "digital crumbs" include some re-used passwords, code, and some other small lists.

The investigators began by looking at samples of the 'Destover' malware that wrecked critical data on the hacked Sony computers and then used proprietary methods to find similarities in other attacks.

Wired has an excellent run through of the researchers methods, and a critical update to anyone interested in the Sony Pictures hack.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple to launch 4-inch iPhone 5se in March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2016 18:01

Report: Apple to launch 4-inch iPhone 5se in March According to a new report, Apple is quietly preparing to launch a new 4-inch iPhone, the iPhone 5se, at an event on March 15th.

It appears that Apple has some regrets after moving away from tiny 4-inch devices, although the new iPhone 6 and 6s (and Plus) are huge sellers at 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches, respectively.

Sources say mass manufacturing began in January, and that Apple will not open up the device for pre-orders and just make it available the day of launch.

The iPhone 5se will look almost identical to the iPhone 5s, which launched in 2013, but it will include the brand new A9 and M9 processors, as well as an NFC chip and the ability to take Live Photos. Additionally, the 5se will be available in the same colors as the 6s; gold, rose gold, silver and space gray.

Source:
9to5mac




AfterDawn: News

μTorrent now available ad-free for $4.95 a year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2016 17:46

μTorrent now available ad-free for $4.95 a year BitTorrent has introduced a new subscription tier for their popular μTorrent client.

For $4.95 per year, you can have an ad-free version of the software, an option that previously only came included in the μTorrent Pro client for $19.99 per year.

Says BitTorrent: "As reported in this forum previously, we've been busy experimenting with new ways to improve μTorrent for our users while financially supporting the amazing team that works every day to make μTorrent free for millions of people around the world."

If ad-free is not enough for you, you can still upgrade to Pro which includes built-in Internet security and anti-malware, premium customer support, the ability to stream torrents instantly, and a built-in file converter.

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AfterDawn: News

New Snapdragon chips promise gigabit LTE speeds

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2016 17:03

New Snapdragon chips promise gigabit LTE speeds Qualcomm has announced its latest chip, the Snapdragon X16, which boasts Category 16 LTE download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

High-end phones today can hit 450Mbps (theoretically) and the upcoming Snapdragon 820 can touch 600Mpbs. Because sharing is caring, the X16 can also support 150Mbps upload speeds.

"The Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is designed to reach Gigabit Class LTE speeds using the same amount of spectrum as Category 9 LTE devices. By using carrier aggregation and 4x4 MIMO, the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem can receive 10 unique streams of data using only three 20 MHz carriers. Its support for 256-QAM boosts the peak throughput of each stream from ~75 Mbps to ~100 Mbps, with additional gains possible with modem data compression," reads the company's press release.

A full Snapdragon SoC with an X16 LTE modem integrated is expected early next year.

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AfterDawn: News

Dr. Dre to star in Apple's first original program

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2016 23:18

Dr. Dre to star in Apple's first original program According to the Hollywood Reporter, legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre is starring and executive producing Apple's first original program, 'Vital Signs.'

The show is being described as a "dark semi-autobiographical drama" and each episode will focus on a different emotion and how Dre's character (himself) handles it. In addition to Dre, the sources say the show will also star Sam Rockwell and Mo McCrae.

Sources also claim there is a plethora of violence and sex, and one of the first two episodes will feature an orgy.

It is unclear if the show will be released on iTunes and Apple TV exclusively, but there seems to be confirmation that the show's first season will be available in its entirety right from the launch, just like original shows on Netflix.

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AfterDawn: News

Google says goodbye to Picasa

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2016 22:38

Google says goodbye to Picasa Google has announced today that it will no longer support their long-standing Picasa photo application.

As of March 16th, 2016, the Picasa apps will no longer be supported although you can continue to use it indefinitely.

The move is not unexpected given that Google has been investing heavily in the newer Google Photos app for desktop and mobile, but Google will make it easy to archive Picasa web albums and convert them to Google Photos.

"We know for many of you, a great deal of care has gone into managing your photos and videos using Picasa--including the hours you've invested and the most precious moments you've trusted us with,"
writes Anil Sabharwal, Head of Google Photos. "So we will take some time in order to do this right and provide you with options and easy ways to access your content."

If you don't want to try Google Photos, the company is also creating "a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data." It's unclear what that site will be, but it will offer tools to "view, download, or delete" your Picasa Web Albums and will save your metadata.

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube Red Originals are now live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2016 11:21

YouTube Red Originals are now live YouTube Red, Google's premium version of the site, has its first streaming original programming.

Red, which allows subscribers to play videos in the background on mobile devices, and usually without ads, has four original programs available now. There are new pieces from YouTube king and queen PewDiePie and Lilly Singh, a feature-length Lazer Team film from Rooster Teeth and Dance Camp from AwesomenessTV.

Coming soon is a new CollegeHumor show and 'Fight of the Living Dead,' a show where popular YouTubers will be placed in "a frighteningly realistic zombie apocalypse."

The service costs $9.99 per month in the U.S. and includes a free subscription to Google Music.

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AfterDawn: News

You can reserve at Tesla Model 3 starting on March 31st with just $1000 down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2016 10:50

You can reserve at Tesla Model 3 starting on March 31st with just $1000 down Elon Musk has confirmed today that the Tesla Model 3 will be officially unveiled next month (although we are unlikely to see too much) and that you can begin reserving a car on March 31st.

On that date, you can make a reservation at any Tesla store, and on April 1st you can reserve one online. The reservation will require a $1000 down payment, which will go towards the car's $35,000 base price tag.

Musk did note that there will be no "Signature Series" this time around, but early adopters will likely have to buy a Model 3 with a few higher-end options pre-installed, suggesting the $35,000 price tag will be a bit low if you are reserving now.

The Model 3 is expected to go on sale in August, 2017 and will offer 200 miles per charge at minimum.

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AfterDawn: News

Russia wants Apple, Microsoft and Google to pay more taxes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2016 10:36

Russia wants Apple, Microsoft and Google to pay more taxes German Klimenko, Russian president Vladimir Putin's new Internet adviser, really wants Apple, Microsoft and Google to pay more taxes.

"We are breeding the cow and they are milking it," Klimenko said in regards to the three tech giants and the tax rates they pay for business done in Russia.

Klimenko believes raising taxes on the U.S.-based companies will help Russian competitors such as Mail.ru to better compete. In Parliament, Klimenko has a staunch ally, Andrey Lugovoi, a former KGB officer accused of murdering UK agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, but who has denied all wrongdoing.

Lugovoi has already proposed a bill to apply an 18 percent VAT on certain revenue brought in by Google, Apple, Microsoft and others. Those transactions include ads, games, movies, marketplace transactions and cloud computing."

There are scores of other bills going up for vote as Russia tries to fight its way out of the worst recession in two decades.

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AfterDawn: News

MySpace acquired by Time Inc. in 'game changing' event

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2016 10:20

MySpace acquired by Time Inc. in 'game changing' event Time Inc has acquired Viant, the parent company of MySpace, in what the company is calling a "game changing" event.

Time is the parent company of popular publications like Fortune, People and, of course, Time, which is over 90 years old.

CEO and Chairman Joe Ripp did not disclose the financial details but did note that the acquisition is all about first-party data, including up to 1 billion email addresses.

Viant acquired MySpace for $35 million in 2011, taking the dead social network from News Corp who had bought it for $580 million in 2005.

Time says "Targeting ad delivery to the optimal audiences; linking devices back to real people; converting ad spending to actual sales and closing the ROI loop," are the plans for MySpace.

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AfterDawn: News

Opera receives large buyout offer from Chinese firms

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2016 10:03

Opera receives large buyout offer from Chinese firms Opera, the browser company, has received a $1.2 billion buyout offer from a group of Chinese firms, and the company's board has unanimously voted to approve the offer.

A few of the best-known names from the consortium are Qihoo 360 and Kunlun, and the group is backed by investment funds.

The offer is a 53 percent premium to Opera's current stock price on the Osla exchange, suggesting the Chinese firms really want the company, at any price.

"There is strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition of Opera by the Consortium," Opera CEO Lars Boilesen said on Wednesday. "The Consortium's ownership will strengthen Opera's position to serve our users and partners with even greater innovation, and to accelerate our plans of expansion and growth."

Opera has been actively shopping itself since August of last year as losses have mounted and share in the browser market have fallen, leading to slower ad sales.

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AfterDawn: News

Nokia has almost completed their acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2016 9:38

Nokia has almost completed their acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent Last April, Nokia announced its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent for 15.6 billion in an all-stock deal that was intended to strengthen the company's telecom-equipment market share.

As of writing, Nokia has acquired 91 percent of Lucent's shares, suggesting the transaction will close in the coming weeks.

Nokia has begun combining operations for the two companies in an effort to better rival giants Ericsson and Huawei.

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AfterDawn: News

HBO NOW falls short of expectations with 800,000 subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2016 22:55

HBO NOW falls short of expectations with 800,000 subscribers HBO CEO Richard Plepler has revealed today that the HBO NOW streaming service has 800,000 subscribers, well below industry expectations of 1-2 million.

NOW allows consumers to stream HBO shows and movies standalone without a cable TV subscription, similar to services like Hulu and Netflix.

Despite the lower than expected numbers, Plepler says the company "is just getting started" and that recent launches on the PlayStation and Xbox consoles will boost numbers significantly.

Additionally, Plepler noted that extra content would be coming soon that should boost the userbase: "We've not yet put out the content like Jon Stewart, Bill Simmons, Vice daily news show, that we think is particularly suited for those platforms," Plepler added.

HBO Now costs $14.99 per month and is available on nearly all platforms.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple TV is finally getting voice dictation

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2016 22:19

Apple TV is finally getting voice dictation Thanks to the latest tvOS beta released this week, we have confirmation that the popular Apple TV set-top box is finally getting voice dictation - a long awaited feature.

At launch, the device only accepted text entry, despite having support for Siri. Siri is usually pretty bad, but needing to type in questions to Siri is even worse. This should fix that issue.

As of Apple tvOS 9.2 beta 3, you can now speak into the Siri remote for any text field, and the voice dictation will also support the spelling of usernames and passwords, although it probably still makes sense to type in your password to avoid mistakes.

Additionally, you can search the App Store from any page in the Apple TV interface by holding down the Siri button and speaking commands.

In non-Siri updates, the tvOS update will also allow you to group apps into folders on the Apple TV home screen, just like on your iPhone.

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