Friday, June 28, 2013

New study shows pets are responsible for $3 billion in technology damage.

Do you have a cat or dog? If so, you might have more to worry about than your own clumsiness breaking your stuff. A new survey conducted by the SquareTrade insurance company suggests that our four-legged friends are responsible for the destruction of over 8 million devices, totaling more than $3 billion in repair and replacement costs.

Ty Shay, the chief marketing officer for SquareTrade, said that the inspiration behind the survey came from the various types of claims SquareTrade got from its own customers. "We were getting a lot of calls from customers with broken devices saying, 'My dog chewed my tablet,' or 'My cat knocked my soda onto my laptop.' We found that almost 1 in 5 pet owners have had this problem," Shay told ABC News.

Some of the survey's observations seem obvious. Smartphones top the list of gadgets to break, accounting for approximately 30 percent of all reported accidents. Dogs are twice as likely to cause an accident than cats. Two thirds of the accidents occur when the pets are left unattended.

But there are also some subtle differences among pets that can ultimately determine whether your electronics will make it in the long run, such as:

Male pets were 50 percent more likely to damage the devices than female pets. Overweight pets were 72 percent more likely to be involved in damaging a device. People that allowed their pet to sleep in the same bed or ride in their lap while driving were two to three times more likely to have a problem with their gadgets that could be traced back to their pet.

Pet owners need not abandon all hope though. SquareTrade offers some suggestions to keep your electronics working despite your chaos-causing companions. The company's blog suggests putting the devices in areas out of their reach and avoid putting them near exposed liquids.

Source: Yahoo News

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yahoo raising security concerns for 'recycling" old e-mail addresses.

Yahoo has announced a plan to "recycle" old e-mail addresses, a move meant to free up accounts for folks who want them but that has sparked privacy concerns.

In a blog post, senior vice president Jay Rossiter announced that Yahoo e-mail accounts that have been dormant for more than a year will be reset so that active users can have access to them.
"If you're like me, you want a Yahoo! ID that's short, sweet, and memorable like instead of," he wrote.
The one-year period will officially begin July 15, when users can "claim" a dormant account name. They'll find out in mid-August if they got the account they wanted.
It's clearly an effort by Yahoo, which has been working to redefine and rejuvenate itself under new CEO Marissa Mayer, to re-engage older users and reward active ones. But it has security experts nervous.
Security analyst Graham Cluley doesn't mince words.
"In short: as an idea it sucks, and it shows Yahoo's lack of respect to customers who created accounts with them in years gone by," Cluley wrote Wednesday.
Cluley lists several scenarios where the plan could backfire. They include situations in which a user has another primary e-mail account, but has given their Yahoo address as a backup in case of security situations, lost passwords and the like.
He said the move appears to be "an underhanded way to get people to re-engage with the site" and that people who may not actively use their Yahoo mail, but use it to store old messages and other documents, could lose them without ever realizing it.
Mat Honan of CNN content partner Wired, himself the recent victim of a high-profile hack, called the move "a spectacularly bad idea."
In the wake of such complaints, Yahoo released a followup statement saying it's sure the transition can be made without compromising security.
"We're committed and confident in our ability to do this in a way that's safe, secure and protects our users' data," the company said.
The vast majority of inactive Yahoo IDs don't have a mailbox associated with them, the company said, and any personal data associated with the accounts will be deleted.
During a 30-day deactivation period, bounce-back e-mails will alert senders that the deactivated account no longer exists and Yahoo will unsubscribe those accounts from newsletters, commercial e-mail alerts and the like.
Businesses, financial institutions, social networks and other e-mail providers will be sent notifications about e-mail addresses that have been deactivated.
Source: CNN

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kickstarter pulls the plug on $120,000 Kobe beef jerky scam just minutes before campaign expires.

Kickstarter fraudsters hawking Kobe beef jerky were just minutes away from completing the biggest-ever outright scam on the crowdfunding site last week.

A campaign titled "KOBE RED - 100% JAPANESE BEER FED KOBE BEEF JERKY" first appeared on Kickstarter on May 14, and it raised $120,000 from 3,300 backers over the past month.

That is, until Kickstarter pulled the plug just before the campaign was scheduled to end and the money was set to go into the fraudsters' bank accounts. Kickstarter relies on its community to self-police, and the Kobe Red shutdown came after sharp Kickstarter users and a documentary team raised concerns.

The supposed company in charge, Los Angeles-based Magnus Fun, promised the jerky was the first kind made from the tender and expensive Japanese Kobe beef.

Magnus Fun posted a decent amount of information on the Kobe Red page, including rave reviews from people who had supposedly tried the jerky -- "omg im licking my fingers in public," one alleged text message screenshot reads. The fraudsters also included information about imported meat inspection, and they posted a story about one of its founders eating Kobe beef on his uncle's ranch.

But Magnus Fun also raised a few eyebrows. They didn't post much personal information, nor did they include photos and videos identifying themselves (which Kickstarter recommends as best practices). And when a Kickstarter user raised concerns in the campaign's comments section, Magnus Fun didn't really try to defend itself.

The scam concerns took off when the team from "Kickstarted," a documentary about Kickstarter, looked more deeply into the campaign.

The "Kickstarted" team highlighted problems with the Kobe Red page, including discrepancies between the high cost of production and the low pledges requested from backers. The documentarians also pointed out the comments from people swearing that they'd tried and loved the jerky all came from relatively new accounts that had backed only failed projects.

In a long post on their own site about their role in exposing the Kobe Red scam, the "Kickstarted" team says they reached out to Magnus Fun with an interview request for the film, and Magnus Fun went back and forth for a bit before promising instead to send footage from a recent taste test in California.

"Kickstarted" said it uncovered "dozens of other smaller inconsistencies and fishy elements" that were enough for Kickstarter to shut the campaign down.

Magnus Fun has since deleted its Kickstarter account, and Kickstarter itself declined to comment on this story.

"It's a credit to Kickstarter and the collective power of the crowd to identify fraud," the "Kickstarted" team, which also posted on Reddit about its concerns, wrote in its blog post.

Kickstarter projects have raised $571 million to date, and as with any major platform for raising money, scammers will try to bilk well-meaning backers out of serious cash. In the case of Kobe Red, they very nearly got away with it.

Source: CNN

Monday, June 24, 2013

New glove phone takes the saying "talk to the hand" to a whole new level.

For Sean Miles of Designworks in the U.K. decided that the true joy of wearable tech was a driving glove that you can talk into.

He listens to his thumb. He talks into his little finger.

I can just imagine millions of nerds and teenagers desperate to meld their inner Michael Jackson. They would surely pay fortunes to get their hands onto and into one of these gloves.

Sadly, this is not a commercial project. The Brits have often found commerce a touch beneath them.

Instead, Miles was approached by phone company 02 Recycling to create experiments.

His last was the highly hygienic shoe-phone.

Here, he said his biggest obstacle was making the technology work with the fabric of the glove.

He used a Bluetooth device, and the principles are as simple as the glove itself: the earpiece is in the thumb, the speaker is in the little finger.

Miles was simply trying to take an everyday object and convert it to technological use, rather than force even those who don't wear glasses to resemble people from a blissful future.

Soon, perhaps every item that we currently believe is merely clothing will suddenly have a simultaneous technological use.

Source: CNET

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Facebook bug exposes some contact information.

A newly discovered Facebook bug may have inadvertently compromised the contact information of 6 million users, the company says.

The bug, which has since been repaired, was part of the Download Your Information tool, which lets Facebook users export all the data from profiles, such as posts to their timeline and conversations with friends. People using the tool may have downloaded inadvertently the contact information for people they were somehow connected to.
Some people upload their contact lists or address books to Facebook, which the company then uses to suggest new friends they can connect with who are already using the service.
Though the number of people impacted is sizable, the actual spread of their contact information appears to be limited. The phone numbers and e-mail addresses were not exposed to developers or posted publicly. It is only shown to people they had at least a tentative connection with, and who may have already had their contact information. Even in that pool, it was only exposed to people who had used the data-exporting tool.

"For almost all of the email addresses or telephone numbers impacted, each individual email address or telephone number was only included in a download once or twice. This means, in almost all cases, an email address or telephone number was only exposed to one person," Facebook's security team said in a post.
The company says it has no evidence that the bug was "exploited maliciously" and that there have been no complaints so far.
The social media company announced the bug on Friday afternoon. The issue was discovered by a third-party security researcher who submitted it through Facebook's White Hat program.
Facebook's White Hat program is set up so that people such as security researchers can report any vulnerabilities they find on the social network and get a reward for $500 and up in return. These types of programs are common at Internet companies.
"Your trust is the most important asset we have, and we are committed to improving our safety procedures and keeping your information safe and secure," read the post.
People who were affected by the bug will receive an e-mail from Facebook.
Source: CNN

Thursday, June 20, 2013

John McAfee, founder of McAfee Antivirus, explains how to uninstall the overly intrusive program with a comical YouTube video.

John McAfee has had no problems making headlines this year. After the founder of the McAfee software security company was believed to be a murder suspect in Belize, he hid out in the jungle, escaped to Guatemala, faked a heart attack and returned to the United States.

But McAfee isn't done with being in the limelight. The 67-year-old software millionaire has published a YouTube video entitled "How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus," in which he instructs users on how to get rid of the software he invented over 25 years ago.

"I'm the founder of the McAfee anti-virus software company," he says in the video. "Although I've had nothing to do with this company for over 15 years, I still get volumes of mail asking how to uninstall this software. I have no idea."

After reading some McAfee software hate mail to the camera, he calls on his lab tech, Bartholomew, to help teach people to uninstall the program. But before finishing the instructions, which involves installing the McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool, the tech is distracted by half-naked women and drugs. McAfee himself is shown drinking, smoking a cigarette, and snorting Bath Salts.

Ultimately, McAfee blames the current owners of the company, which he hasn't worked at since 1994. "Fifteen years ago I had some beautiful software and they took it over. I don't know what they did," he says frantically before taking out a gun and shooting the computer.

McAfee, the company which is owned by Intel now, describes the video as "ludicrous." "While we take any attack on our products seriously, these ludicrous statements have no basis in reality," a McAfee spokesperson told ABC News. "We continue to focus on what matters - our customers."

Source: Yahoo News

YouTube video link (rated R):

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Has your cell phone battery died? Are you in New York? You may be in luck!

AT&T is deploying solar-powered charging stations to help keep smartphones and other mobile gadgets juiced up in parks throughout New York.

The 25 stations, which each feature a microUSB, iPhone 4, and iPhone 5 plugs, as well as USB ports for other devices, are being set up in various parks this summer and offer a free recharge. They can be found this week in Riverside Park on the west side of Manhattan, in Union Square, and in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with more locations to come this summer.

The Street Charge project, which is still in its trial phase, comes out of AT&T's work during the recovery from Superstorm Sandy. The company had set up mobile charging stations in the blacked-out areas of New York, which inspired the idea of creating charging stations for everyday uses.
"We realized charging was the missing ingredient during the day," said Neil Giacobbi, who helps with gifts, sponsorships, and programs in the New York region for AT&T.

AT&T worked with Brooklyn-based Pensa to design the 1-foot-tall steel structure, a tower that branches out into three arms at the top, which hold the solar panels. The solar power technology was supplied by Goal Zero.

The charging stations are powered by the solar panels, and are standalone structures without an external power source or wires. In working with New York City, Giacobbi said it was important that the company didn't have to install any new wires or infrastructure to power the unit.

Packed to the gills with batteries, one station is designed to provide three to four days of continuous charging if holding a full charge. While the station can still absorb ultraviolet rays during cloudy or even rainy days, it can get fully charged up after four hours in direct sunlight.

AT&T is paying for the 25 stations, and the city bears no cost, Giacobbi said, adding that the city is fully supporting this program.

Because there are no external wires and construction, the towers can be disassembled and then reassembled in another location. Giacobbi said that the stations will stay in their current spots for the next month before being moved around. The company has staff monitoring the usage and will track where the optimal locations will be for each station.

So what's in it for AT&T? Giacobbi said the stations are here to keep phones on and running (even if they are for another carrier).

"If I don't have a charge, I can't use the network," he said.

The trials will run through the end of the year, after which AT&T will consider a longer-term plan. The company is considering expanding the number of stations, as well as potentially bring them to other cities.

"There are a lot of eyes on this project to see how it works," Giacobbi said.

Here are the planned locations...

Riverside Park, Pier I (launches 6/18)
Union Square Park, North Plaza (launches 6/19)
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park Summerstage
Hudson River Park Pier 59

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1; (launches 6/18)
Fort Greene Park (launches 6/18)
Coney Island
Metrotech Plaza
The Dumbo Arts Festival
The Brooklyn Book Festival

Rockaway Beach
Clearview Golf Course
Socrates Sculpture Park

Orchard Beach

Staten Island:
Governor's Island (launches 6/18)
La Tourette Golf Course; Staten Island Zoo
Randall's Island

Source: CNET

Monday, June 17, 2013

Apple smartphone users rejoice...Microsoft Office for iPhone has arrived!

Microsoft Office, the suite of productivity tools used by millions, has finally come to the iPhone.

The move is a significant one for Microsoft and its users. Before, the popular set of tools, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, was available only on Windows phones, which have captured a sliver of the smartphone market.

The feature is available free in Apple's App Store for subscribers to Office 365, the cloud-based version of Office's business-like tools for home users. Subscribers pay a monthly fee.

Office for iPhone is intended for people who need to edit PowerPoints or Excel spreadsheets on the go, not create them from their phones. The company said users can work with documents on their phones, and the updates will be transferred to those documents on PC versions. They'll also be able to share documents from their phones.

"When we launched Office 365 earlier this year, we committed to delivering regular updates and new capabilities to Office 365 subscribers," Julia White, general manager of Microsoft's Office division, said in a blog post. "Office Mobile for iPhone is another great example of the value of subscribing to Office 365."
The announcement comes just days after Apple announced that its own iWork productivity suite will for the first time work with Windows systems.

The Microsoft announcement serves as a counter, allowing the same kind of back-and-forth for the larger number of users who are already familiar with Office, considered by many the gold standard of productivity software.

There is no similar version of Office optimized for the iPad, which has its own more fully developed Web browser. Microsoft also did not mention whether it's developing a version for Google's Android mobile devices.

Office for iPhone is available now for users in the United States and will soon rolled out internationally, the company said.

Source: CNN

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The five best things to know when starting a business.

Starting a business can be overwhelming, regardless of whether you’ve started one before or if you are a rookie entrepreneur. For those who have already started a business, most will agree that there are some keys to the business world they wish they were aware of before opening their doors. While the advice may vary slightly by industry, here are our top five tips to anticipate those impending business surprises.

You probably won’t strike it rich...At least not right away.
This may not come as a shock, but the first few years of owning a business aren’t as much lucrative as they are about getting established in the community. Between the startup costs and maintenance, you probably won’t be able to pop the cork on a champagne lifestyle just yet. Along with this comes long hours and over-servicing. A 70-hour week is not completely out of the realm of possibilities during the first few years of business.

Be prepared to wear many hats.
While you many have majored in Business at your local college, you will quickly become an expert in marketing, operations, public relations and sales. At the very least, you will become a skilled multitasker.

You may have more power than you’re used to.
Since you will be the main decision-maker, you will have the power to see your ideas become reality. While this is an exciting proposition for many of us, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations on both individual and business levels. The key is not to promise yourself or others too much. We recommend managing business the way we all try to with our personal lives – within our means.

You will have stiff competition.
While you may think your bakery is the best thing since sliced bread, chances are your potential customers already have a favorite bakery in your area. We have found that the most success comes after you identify the competition and understand their strengths and weaknesses as a brand. Only then do you have the leverage to forge a business that has a fighting chance at winning over a new customer base. Learning how to differentiate your business from the competition is a key step in establishing a successful operation.

You will likely fall off the proverbial horse.
But if you’re smart, you’ll get back up. Having a business plan will account for these kinds of setbacks. Also, tapping into available business resources, like using a registered agent, may help you stay on track and out of litigation troubles. Dealing with slow growth? Nearly every startup rides the roller-coaster revenue train at one point or another. The key is remain honest with customers, continue to provide great service/products and finally, to weather the storm.

Source: BizFilings

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Facebook has adopted the hashtag symbol.

Hashtags are coming to Facebook to help users better surface conversations.

Support for the all-but-ubiquitous topic organization system was rumored in March and will roll out to a small percentage of users Wednesday. Facebook will roll out hashtags to more users in the coming weeks.
The social network wants to make it easier for users to find content already on Facebook, and functional hashtags are the first step. According to Facebook, many users already post hashtags anyway, so why not make them work? Hashtags will be both clickable and searchable, so, for example, topics like #NSALeaks or #NBAFinals will now exist.
Hashtags from other services, such as Instagram, are clickable as well. Users will also be able to compose posts directly from a hashtag feed and search results. That could make adding real-time content to specific streams easier than before.
How we can see more #smile #happy #selfie #sunshine crap clogging up our Facebook feeds, just as it does to our Twitter accounts.
Source: CNN

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Facebook feature trusts friends to reset your password.

Have you forgotten or lost your Facebook password? Relax. You can now turn to friends for help.
Facebook on Thursday rolled out Trusted Contacts account recovery, a feature it has tested with a limited number of people as the Trusted Friends capability since 2011.

Users can select three to five trusted contacts from their security settings at any time. These contacts should be available via phone or in person.

This feature could be helpful when a user suffers a mass compromise, meaning he or she loses access both to email and other accounts as a direct result of malware infestation. However, these cases are rare, and most users lose access only to specific accounts in targeted phishing schemes.

How it works:
Once users go into their Facebook Security Settings and select three to five people as trusted contacts, Facebook notifies those people.

When users can't log into their Facebook accounts, they can turn to their trusted contacts for help. Each contact will get a security code with instructions on how to use it. Users need security codes from three trusted contacts to recover their Facebook accounts.

When there's a problem, Facebook will generate an URL dynamically and the user's trusted contacts go into their own personal security settings and find the URL. The URL will give the contact a code and instructions on what to do with it.

Source: Tech News World

Monday, June 10, 2013

Department of Justice approves Sprint & Softbank deal.

The major buyout deal between Sprint and Japanese telecommunications provider Softbank is one step closer to finalized. The U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal, handing it over for approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In October 2012, Softbank offered Sprint $20 billion for a 70 percent stake in the company. Deal conversations were brought to a halt, however, when the concerns about national security were brought up. In March, regulators began to voice their concerns about Chinese spyware slipping into U.S. networks through the Softbank relationship. Later, in January, the DOJ, alongside the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, launched an investigation into the deal, further stunting its process through FCC approvals.

That investigation didn't seem to rustle up much, as the DOJ approved the deal Friday in a letter the FCC. In the letter, the DOJ explained that it analyzed the “measures” Sprint and Softbank have taken to ensure national security as well as the supply chain. It’s now the FCC’s turn to green light the deal, and Softbank is seemingly confident. The company released a statement in April saying it believes the deal will be finalized by July, and that it’s deal is better than a second offer Sprint received from Dish Networks during the DOJ’s investigation.

The U.S. cable provider topped Softbank’s offer, saying it would pay $25.5 billion for majority control of the company. If Softbank’s timeline is correct, we assume we’ll hear more about Sprint’s interest in the Dish deal soon.

Source: Washington Post

Friday, June 7, 2013

This interactive tech toy is sure to keep you entertained for hours with its countless possibilities.

MaKey MaKey is an invention kit rolled out by two MIT graduates for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween. What you create is completely up to you! Simply, load up a computer program or any webpage to get started.

MaKey MaKey works with any laptop or computer with a USB port and a recent operating system.

Check out this cool YouTube video of some crazy MaKey MaKey stuff:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In recent Apple vs Samsung news...Samsung has won!

Apple won the biggest battle in its endless patent war with Samsung, but now it's Samsung's turn to be victor. A trade agency ruled Tuesday that several older Apple products violate a Samsung patent and can't be sold within the United States.

The International Trade Commission's long-awaited ruling bans Apple from importing or selling the AT&T compatible models of the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3, as well as the AT&T 3G-connected versions of the iPad and iPad 2.

Those products, which are assembled overseas and must be imported, infringe on a Samsung patent for encoding mobile communications, the ITC ruled.

The ban does not affect the newest generation of Apple's products, the iPhone 5 and the fourth-generation iPad, which use different technology than the earlier devices.

The commission did not find that Apple violated any of the three other patents Samsung named in its case. But the rest of the ruling is a big blow to Apple and it comes as a surprise, given that a previous preliminary ruling from an ITC judge exonerated Apple completely.

This time, the "determination is final, and the investigation is terminated," the ITC wrote in its decision. Apple can file an appeal with the Federal Circuit, however, and spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said the company plans to do just that.

Apple can also hope for a veto from President Obama. The ITC is required by law to send its "exclusion orders" to the president for a 60-day review. Unless President Obama actively strikes down the order, it becomes final.

Because Apple plans to appeal, Tuesday's decision "has no impact on the availability of Apple products in the United States," Huguet said.

She slammed Samsung for "using a strategy which has been rejected by courts and regulators around the world" in other cases. She also accused Samsung of trying "to block the sale of Apple products by using patents they agreed to license to anyone for a reasonable fee."

A Samsung spokeswoman fired back that the ITC's ruling "has confirmed Apple's history of free-riding on Samsung's technological innovations." AT&T declined to comment.

Last year, a California jury found that several Samsung products infringed on Apple patents for software features like double-tap zooming and scrolling. The jury initially recommended that Apple be awarded more than $1 billion in damages. A final ruling in that separate case isn't expected until later this year.

How's that sweet revenge taste, Samsung?

Source: CNN

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Forget .com - .lol and .google is where it's at!

Internet addresses are about to expand way past .com and .org, and Google wants in. It applied to grab not only .google, but also fun suffixes like .lol.

The company said it would like to operate "domains we think have interesting and creative potential," citing .lol as an example.

Google is just one of the hundreds of companies that have applied for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) -- the ".com" part of website addresses -- in an upcoming massive expansion of the Internet's infrastructure. The full list of applicants, and their proposed new domains, will be announced on June 13.

Google revealed some of the gTLDs it's applied for -- .google, .youtube., .docs and .lol -- in a blog post published on Thursday. The company said last month that it had applied for some new domains, but it didn't go into specifics at that time.

In an interview earlier this month with CNNMoney, a Google representative said that the company expected to be one of the biggest applicants in the domain expansion process.

Other organizations that have gone public with their interest include groups proposing .nyc, .paris, Unicef, Hitachi and Canon.

Google's top brass has a close relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit, global coordinator of the Internet's naming system. Vint Cerf, Google's "chief internet evangelist" and the author of Google's Thursday blog post, is the former chairman of ICANN's board of directors.

Expanding domains is no simple task...ICANN had for years been kicking around the idea of suffixes for brand names, cities and general keywords. Last June, the organization approved a plan to open for submissions and review thousands of applications for new gTLDs.

Supporters of the move say dot-brand sites will help companies market themselves and ensure security. HSBC, for example, could tell customers that a purported HSBC site isn't legitimate unless it ends in .hsbc. And a company like Verizon could market products at cellphones.verizon and store locations at losangeles.verizon.

Critics counter that expanding domain suffixes will be confusing for consumers -- cnn.cnn, anyone? -- and not worth the effort.

But ICANN's plan is surging forward -- even though the application process has been fraught with technical issues and delays.

ICANN began accepting applications for new domains on January 12 through a web-based system, and planned to unveil the applicant list on April 30. But on April 12 -- the original deadline for submitting an application -- ICANN took the system offline after a "glitch" allowed some users to see others' data.

The organization planned to have the system back within a few days, but the issues persisted for weeks. ICANN finally re-opened the application system on May 21 and accepted entries until May 30. The application list will be announced next month.

As of May 30, ICANN said it had received about 1,900 applications.

ICANN has gradually rolled out a handful of new domains over the past decade, including the controversial .xxx domain that got the green light in March 2011. The new proposed expansion will be far bigger than anything done previously.

But for interested companies, the new domains don't come cheap.

ICANN charges $185,000 per domain application, a extensive paperwork bundle that requires scores of policy documents. The technical setup and upkeep on a single domain will cost additional thousands -- or even millions -- per year.

It's a slow and painstaking process. With domains like .law and .sport, many suitors are expected to battle for the same coveted keyword. So if multiple applicants want a single domain, and ICANN deems them equally worthy, the name goes to auction -- which could end up costing millions for the winning bidder.

Even if two keywords aren't exactly the same, "confusingly similar" domain suffixes are forbidden. For example, if an apple farmers' union grabs .apples, then iGizmo maker Apple would be blocked permanently from registering .apple.

Source: CNN

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New charger hacks a user's iPhone with ease.

Three researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology say they have come up with a proof-of-concept malicious iPhone charger that lets them hack into the mobile device running the latest version of Apple's iOS in less than one minute. No jailbreaking required.

"Apple iOS devices are considered by many to be more secure than other mobile offerings. In evaluating this belief, we investigated the extent to which security threats were considered when performing everyday activities such as charging a device," the researchers wrote in a presentation summary. "The results were alarming: despite the plethora of defense mechanisms in iOS, we successfully injected arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system (OS) software."

Dubbing their charger "Mactrans," the researchers say they can get around Apple's security mechanisms by hiding the charger software in the same way Apple hides its own built-in apps. Apparently, the hardware for the Mactrans is small enough to fit in power adaptors, docking stations, and external batteries.

The researchers plan to present the Mactrans at the upcoming Black Hat security conference in July.

Source: Forbes, CNET

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Every wanted to go to space? Here's your chance...and for as little as $25.

Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining company, ultimately wants to build a fleet of Arkyd telescopes that can find asteroids -- then launch robotic spacecraft that can mine those asteroids for raw materials like precious metals and water.

To garner interest in its mission, the first Arkyd is focused on education and public access. In order to get that first telescope into space in 2015, the company wants to raise $1 million on Kickstarter by June 30.

A donation of $25 scores a backer a "space selfie," in which a user sends in a picture to be uploaded to a screen on the side of the telescope. The company then snaps a photo of the picture with the telescope and Earth in the background.

Other rewards: Giving $200 allows the donor to point the Arkyd at any celestial object. For $1,000, backers will get a tour of the company's Bellevue, Wash., facilities. Support for various education initiatives is available for a few thousand dollars, depending on the project.

As of this moment, the company has already raised more than $609,000.

Planetary Resources' mission has attracted high-profile backers including Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Ross Perot, Jr., the son of the former presidential candidate. Company advisers include filmmaker James Cameron and former U.S. Air Force chief of staff Michael Moseley.

According to the company, members of its technical staff have worked on every recent U.S. Mars robotic rover including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.

Source: KickstarterCNN