Viewing entries in
technology

Cisco and Fortinet say vulnerabilities disclosed in ‘NSA hack’ are legit

Cisco and Fortinet say vulnerabilities disclosed in ‘NSA hack’ are legit

And this is why you don't ignore security warnings. A hacking team known as the Equation Group (which many believe is run by the NSA) was hacked by another team calling themselves the "Shadow Breakers." The Shadow Breakers took data and put it online, while simultaneously finding vulnerabilities with Cisco and Fortinet's firewalls. The frequency of hacks is disturbing, and emphasizes the need for extreme levels of security, especially for the government.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/17/cisco-and-fortinet-say-vulnerabilities-disclosed-in-nsa-hack-are-legit/

People ignore software security warnings up to 90 percent of the time

People ignore software security warnings up to 90 percent of the time

An alarming amount of computer users frequently ignore warnings, especially if the user is busy with another task, from watching videos to closing a web page to entering a confirmation code! That's when security should be of paramount concern. Software developers must figure out how to alert users of security warnings during different screen times.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-08-people-software-percent.html

Image Source: By Rillke (Screenshot); Mozilla Firefox Developer; UploadWizard developers (Own work (Screenshot); Special:UploadWizard) [MPL 1.1 (https://www.mozilla.org/MPL/1.1/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Black Girls Code: The Next Steve Jobs Will Be A Woman of Color

Black Girls Code: The Next Steve Jobs Will Be A Woman of Color

The founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, feels that women are primed to make an impact in STEM.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/whitneyjohnson/2016/08/15/black-girls-code-daring-to-dream-the-next-steve-jobs-will-be-a-woman-of-color/#444aa45439b6

Image Source: By Ståle Grut / nrkbeta (Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code @ SXSW 2016) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

China launches the first quantum communications satellite – and what is that, exactly?

China launches the first quantum communications satellite – and what is that, exactly?

Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) is now officially in the sky. Its purpose: for scientists to observe if quantum physics tests hold in space. It may be an easier environment to test quantum physics by sending particles up into space. Considering few people even understand quantum physics, the results of this experiment are sure to be confusing.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/16/china-launches-the-first-quantum-communications-satellite-and-what-is-that-exactly/

Image Source: By P. Fraundorf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Snapchat is acquiring mobile search app Vurb for $110M+

Snapchat is acquiring mobile search app Vurb for $110M+

Social media sensation Snapchat is in the process of buying Vurb, an app that is an amalgamation of searching, chatting, and sharing. Vurb is firstly a search engine, designed to find places and venues for movie theaters, restaurants, etc. Snapchat's strength is its sharing of "stories", and the company is probably anticipating to allow users to share more than just pictures.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/15/snapsearch/

Image Source: By Snapchat, Inc. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Big data’s humble beginnings

Big data’s humble beginnings

Big data wasn't always big data. It used to be little data, and it would byte everything (bad pun, sorry). 22 years ago, the first online advertisement was generated, birthing the online marketplace and consumer footprints simultaneously. Not only have the advertisements, audiences, or technologies advanced, but the measurements for the success of online ads have improved as well.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/14/big-datas-humble-beginnings/

Image Source: By Camelia.boban (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Patent patter: Tanks not on Apple's to-do list

Patent patter: Tanks not on Apple's to-do list

Oh dear, has there been quite a mix up! A patent on steering mechanics for a tank was falsely assigned to Apple (Yes, that Apple), fueling speculation that Apple was designing military vehicles. The company that actually owns the patent is BAE Systems, who apparently have a similar shortcut code in the computer system to Apple. Lesson: Proofread everything.

Source: https://techxplore.com/news/2016-08-patent-patter-tanks-apple-to-do.html

IBM PC Turns 35

IBM PC Turns 35

IBM started a personal computer craze in 1981 with the personal computer, a large bulky box capable of reading floppy disks and stuffed with 64 kilobytes of RAM. Of course, technology obsolesces as quickly as current download speeds, but having the ability to own (and purchase) the revolutionary machines led to a drop in typewriter sales and other 1970s technology. The next classic celebrating a big birthday: the NES, which will turn 35 in less than two years.

Source: http://geeksided.com/2016/08/12/the-ibm-pc-and-dos-turns-35-today/

Image Source: By Ruben de Rijcke (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers find that Android apps can secretly track users' whereabouts

Researchers find that Android apps can secretly track users' whereabouts

It's no secret that our mobile devices track our locations; it's a sacrifice we make as soon as the phone is activated. However, it's always startling to know just how insecure our data can be, especially in Google Play. Anybody can place an app in the store with a small fee, meaning that anybody who downloads that app gives the company permission to know where you are. Make sure that you only download trustworthy apps to protect yourself.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-08-android-apps-secretly-track-users.html

App Store to reach 5 million apps by 2020, with games leading the way

App Store to reach 5 million apps by 2020, with games leading the way

Thanks to the unending creativity of developers, the number of apps will jump up to 5 million available for purchase in Apple's App Store. While the amount of applications users have on their phones has decreased to a select few, both developers and Apple alike are hoping to encourage users to find new apps with an improved search program.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/10/app-store-to-reach-5-million-apps-by-2020-with-games-leading-the-way/

Using a deep neural network approach to identify sarcasm

Using a deep neural network approach to identify sarcasm

Computers are just horrible at recognizing sarcasm. No, seriously it's true. Edgy phrases that are clearly made in jest cannot be identified by artificial intelligence yet. A team headed by Silvio Amir at the University of Lisbon, Portugal by using a page's tweet history on Twitter, and marking which posts aren't made seriously. The algorithm by Amir's team can discern sarcasm correctly 87 percent of the time. That's only a B+; I'm not impressed. Actually, I am, because it's another large step for artificial intelligence and its interactions with humans.

Source: https://techxplore.com/news/2016-08-deep-neural-network-approach-sarcasm.html

Pokémon Go crosses $200M in global revenue one month into launch

Pokémon Go crosses $200M in global revenue one month into launch

If there is anybody who is still worried about the decline of the mobile game industry, Niantic Labs and Pokémon GO have 200 million reasons to say otherwise. The global, mobile sensation is technically on pace to reach 2.4 billion dollars in revenue (which is of course impossible), but with consistent updates and creative marketing, surpassing one billion dollars would be (amazingly) within reach.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/07/pokemon-go-crosses-200m-in-global-revenue-one-month-into-launch/

Image Source: By Health Gauge [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Autopilot in Tesla Model X helps driver get safely to a hospital

Autopilot in Tesla Model X helps driver get safely to a hospital

Tesla's Autopilot feature has been under fire since a fatal accident in June killed a driver using the feature. Now, Autopilot may have saved a driver's life. A 37 year old man suffered a pulmonary embolism while driving in his Model X, and activated the self-driving function. The car successfully drove 20 miles to reach the hospital, where the man was treated. This proves that while the Autopilot feature is not perfect, it works quite well at times. 

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/07/autopilot-in-tesla-model-x-helps-driver-get-safely-to-a-hospital/

Image Source: By NRMA New Cars [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Robots will cover the Olympics for The Washington Post

Robots will cover the Olympics for The Washington Post

Artificial intelligence will post updates on the Olympics throughout the next few weeks. The statuses will include graphics (such as race times, medal winners, etc.) and short sentences about the transpiring events. Longer, more focused pieces will still be written by journalists, while allowing the reporters more time to focus on their articles.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/05/robots-will-cover-the-olympics-for-the-washington-post/

Image Source: By KaputJonny (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: This picture does not depict a robot The Washington Post is using.

App lets visually impaired in India hear books in their native language

App lets visually impaired in India hear books in their native language

Social Impact projects are heartwarming because those who are in need directly benefit. An app called Hear2Read developed at Carnegie Mellon translates books of one language into audio books of another to assist blind readers. The app currently knows Tamil (an Indian and Sri Lankan language) and is slated to learn a slew of others in a year's time.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/04/app-lets-visually-impaired-in-india-hear-books-in-their-native-language/

China has actually built an elevated bus that travels above car traffic

China has actually built an elevated bus that travels above car traffic

2016 has been the test year for the futuristic bus. After Mercedes Bens sampled its self-driving electric bus in the Netherlands, China has unveiled its Transit Elevated Bus. The TEB runs on electricity, is 72 feet long by 25 feet wide, and drives over traffic. It's like a monster truck that picks up passengers. The TEB isn't ready for commercial use yet, but its successful ride today provides a spark for the future of transportation.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/02/china-has-actually-built-that-elevated-bus-that-travels-above-car-traffic/

Image Source: By Ecow (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

It's a new era for female Israeli entrepreneurs

It's a new era for female Israeli entrepreneurs

Israel, one of the more Westernized countries in the Middle East, has been accepting and encouraging women's emergence in the technology and startup fields. Known for their medicine and computer chips, Israel still remains heavily male-dominated in terms of who finances projects, but it's assuring to see the gender gap closing across the world.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/31/its-a-new-era-for-female-israeli-entrepreneurs/

Image Source: By No machine-readable author provided. Beny Shlevich assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons