Science is one step closer to reading your mind

Science is one step closer to reading your mind



This past month, there was a giant development in science.  Once again, technology has caught up to what we thought was only imaginable. For the first time in history, a quadriplegic recovered mobility in one of his hands thanks to neuroprosthetics, which in this case, is the superhero combination of an implanted brain-chip and a sleeve made of electric bands.

Ian Burkhart, a 24-year-old American man, is paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury that was caused from a diving accident a few years ago.  What at first seemed like a hopeless predicament for him, has become a positive example for science and humanity.


Burkhart continues to live a life of passion and purpose—coaching high schoolers, inspiring others through public speaking, and working towards his undergrad degree—while living by the quote “Success, it’s what you do with what you got”.

Swiping a credit-card or playing a bit of Guitar Hero are two simple things Burkhart thought he would never be able to do again.  He has been able to train his brain to exercise commands, which are later carried out using the implanted chip and electrode sleeve. According to scientists, in a few years, many disabled and paralyzed people could be dressing and feeding themselves, completely independently.



But, as always, with each new advancement comes challenges and opportunities for those who are looking to take advantage.  Which is why it is critical that we protect the sensitive data that has yet to be compromised: the information that is stored in our brains.

Expert Alfonso Muñoz, from Criptored, explained how EEG headbands are vulnerable to the same attacks as your smartphone or your computer, stating that “any type of attack can happen because, really, you are not copying waves, you are copying bits”. The security-risks associated with the possibility of registering brain waves are alarming. Muñoz warns about the future of “mental surveillance” and “brain hacking”.

Imagine that someone, somewhere could read your mind… spy on your thoughts. This fear has already been proven in rigorous academic studies. When it comes to this on-going marathon between humans and technology, even with the good, that we stay wary of possible intruders.  Like Muñoz said, “attacks have limitations“. However, “the truth is, the thought that it can be done, in a relatively simple way, is scary“.

Information from your brain can be removed without you knowing it

Nvidia Reveals Pascal: GTX 1080 And 1070 To Beat Titan X, GDDR5X Debuts

Nvidia Reveals Pascal: GTX 1080 And 1070 To Beat Titan X, GDDR5X Debuts

Nvidia has finally revealed the details of its highly anticipated next-generation graphics GPUs. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang first revealed the roadmap for Pascal in March of 2014. It’s been a long wait, but based on what we learned tonight, it looks like the wait was worth it.

Two high-end graphics cards will be shipping in the next few weeks: The GTX 1070, which will replace Nvidia’s price to performance value leader, the GTX 970; and the GTX 1080, which takes the place of the very capable GTX 980, while simultaneously dethroning the company’s flagship Titan X as the fastest GPU the company has ever launched. Both cards promise significant performance increases over their predecessors, while drawing less power than the already power-efficient Maxwell GPUs.

GTX 1080 And GTX 1070

The star of the show is Nvidia’s GTX 1080, which features 7.2 billion transistors and 2560 CUDA cores operating at an unbelievable 2.1 GHz. Nvidia said the card delivers 9 TFlops of rendering performance. The GTX 1080 is Nvidia’s first graphics processor to use TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process node. The smaller process node is a key element to Pascal’s power efficiency, but Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia’s CEO, said there were thousands of improvements and innovations, and billions of dollars in research and development that went into designing Pascal.

Nvidia said that the GTX 1080 offers two times the performance of the company’s current flagship Titan X, while delivering three times the power efficiency. AMD will also be moving to a smaller FinFET node process for its upcoming Polaris GPUs later this summer, but it will be moving to GlobalFoundaries’ even smaller 14nm process. We’re eager to compare the power efficiency of the two products in the coming months, but Nvidia has certainly set the bar high with Pascal.

Huang also announced the GTX 1070, which also offers staggering performance. Nvidia did not reveal the number of CUDA cores or transistors that make up the GPU in the 1070, but Huang said the card offers 6.5 TFLOPS of floating point performance, and that this card will outperform a Titan X, as well.


Last year, AMD launched its R9 Fury series featuring Fiji GPUs, which featured HBM memory with much higher memory bandwidth than traditional GDDR5. Nvidia chose to skip the first generation of HBM memory, but the roadmap it shared at GTC 2015 indicated that we would see 3D memory on Pascal. We somewhat expected to see HBM2 paired with these upcoming cards, but neither of them feature this advanced memory technology. We will likely still see HBM2 memory paired with a Pascal architecture GPU, but we may be waiting some time for that.

GDDR5X is the next fastest memory available compared to HBM; Micron revealed GDDR5X in September 2015. The company told us that GDDR5X offers significant performance increases by doubling the memory prefetch size. Micron said that initial GDDR5X yields would offer speeds of at least 10 Gbps. Nvidia said that the GTX 1080 is equipped with 8GB of GDDR5X memory, but it did not mention the frequency at which it operates. The GTX 1070 is also equipped with 8GB of memory, but it’s not using GDDR5X. Nvidia chose to use traditional GDDR5 with the lower-end card.

Simultaneous Multi-Projection Pipeline

Nvidia said that part of the magic behind Pascal’s rendering performance is a new technology called the Simultaneous Multi-Projection Pipeline. Nvidia explained that traditional rendering techniques use one single-view port to to output to displays. This works just fine with a single display, but we’ve seen a rapid change in display technology, from multi-screen setups to ultrawide displays and now VR HMDs with dual displays that require warping and unique rendering techniques.

The traditional rendering methods don’t play well with multiple displays. You generally see warping on peripheral monitors in surround setups, and warping an image for a VR display wastes performance by rendering parts of the image that are never seen. This allows the company to dedicate a properly proportioned scene to each display in a surround system. Huang said this was previously possible only if you had a GPU for each display in your system.

For VR rendering, Nvidia takes this idea even further. It dedicates four view ports per eye for an HMD and prewarps the image before hitting the lenses. The end result is a clearer image with more accurate proportions. Nvidia calls this Lens Matched Shading.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
Graphics Core GP104 GM200 GP104 GM204 GM204
Process Node 16nm FinFET 28nm 16nm FinFET 28nm 28nm
Transistors 7.2 Billion 8 Billion ? 5.2 Billion
CUDA Cores 2560 CUDA Cores 2816 CUDA Cores ? 2048 CUDA Cores 1664 Cuda Cores
Launch Date May-16 May-15 Jun-16 Sep-14 Sep-14

Today’s announcement is simply a reveal of what’s to come. The GTX 1080 will launch on May 27, and there will be two variants: the GTX 1080, which will carry a price tag of $599, and a Founders Edition, which is supposed to offer higher overclocking potential for $699. The GTX 1070 will launch on June 10. The standard card will sell for $379, and the Founder Edition will be available for $449.



Source: Toms Hardware,31754.html

Cyber-criminals really “Like” Facebook

Cyber-criminals really “Like” Facebook

Cyber-criminals really “Like” Facebook


With 1,590 million active users per month, Facebook is the Social Network. In fact, they just posted their quarterly earnings and they are up 50%. Cyber-criminals are aware of their success.

These platforms are the ideal place to “phish” for information. 18% of companies infected by malware were infected through social networks. Attackers pass as part of a company’s customer service team in order to steal sensitive data from consumers.

A recent study was released by the RSA organization proving that cyber-crime on social networks is a “global epidemic”. The RSA organization was founded by the creators of the encryption algorithm that is used every time we make a bank operation online or digitally sign something.

Cyber-crime in social networks

is a “global epidemic”

These platforms are not only hot-spots for attacks but they have also become the perfect forum for scammers to communicate. According to the study, there are more than 500 online fraud related groups with more than 220,000 members. The majority of these groups are public and visible.

Uncovering Credit Card Data

Fraudsters share information like credit card numbers accompanied by personal information and authorization codes, cyber-crime tutorials and other malware tools.

Proving this, the investigation invites us to write our CVV or CVV2 numbers in the Facebook search bar (those verification numbers on the back of a credit card). The result will surely surprise you: it is easier to find data from a stolen credit card than find an old friend you are trying to reconnect with.


In total, the RSA detected some 15,000 compromised credit cards publicized on social networks in the six months that the study lasted. He also discovered that many of these criminal groups focus their attacks on shops, banks and accounts of consumers in their area.

In China and Russia, platforms QQ and VKontakte are preferred by the scammers, while in the rest of the countries, Facebook remains the favorite. Unfortunately for us, cyber-criminals really “Like” Facebook.

Apple Makes iPhones Harder to Track

One of the most important features of Apple’s next mobile platform is something the company has barely talked about. When iOS 8 comes out  this fall, it will have the ability to randomize an iPhone or iPad’s Wi-Fi media access control (MAC) address, or network ID.

That’s a huge privacy advantage for people who want to leave their devices’ Wi-Fi active without worrying that their information might be gathered by marketers, police, spies or hackers. However, it does nothing to impede iBeacon, Apple’s own Bluetooth-based proximity-marketing service.

Interestingly, Apple barely mentioned MAC randomization at the World Wide Developers Conference last week, during which it announced iOS 8. It was left to UK-based user-interface designer Luis Abreu to tweet an image of a slide from a conference presentation about iOS 8 privacy that described the process.

“In iOS 8, Wi-Fi scanning behavior has changed to use random, locally administrated MAC addresses,” reads the slide, which can be downloaded from Apple’s servers as part of the presentation. “The MAC address used for Wi-Fi scans may not always be the device’s real (universal) address.”

So how would Apple’s MAC randomization work? Each piece of networking hardware on a computer, smartphone or tablet has a unique, permanent MAC address that identifies that specific piece of hardware on a network. A laptop, for example, will have separate MAC addresses for its Ethernet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

MAC addresses are necessary for establishing a network connection and obtaining a temporary Internet Protocol (IP) address to get online, but they’re not so great for privacy, since devices can be identified and tracked by their specific MAC addresses.

If you’re walking through a shopping mall with Wi-Fi enabled on your smartphone, the phone is “scanning,” or simultaneously searching for Wi-Fi networks and broadcasting its MAC address to every Wi-Fi hotspot you pass by, whether or not you intend to connect to any of those hotspots.

Those hotspots are often logging all the MAC addresses they encounter, and marketers can examine those logs to identify repeat shoppers, how long a shopper spent in a store or even potential shoppers who walked by the store many times but didn’t come in.

The phones don’t even have to establish connections to provide their MAC addresses. Just being within range of the store network is enough. If any of those smartphones’ users decide to connect to the store’s Wi-Fi network, then marketers might also be able to assign real names to those harvested MAC addresses. Governments and criminals can set up Wi-Fi hotspots to gather the same information.

All of these practices impinge on people’s privacy, whether desirably or not. To counter the practice of MAC-based tracking, whenever an iOS 8-enabled device scans for Wi-Fi networks, it will use a randomized, temporary MAC address to announce its presence. (If a Wi-Fi connection is established, the iOS 8 device will apparently revert to its real, permanent MAC address.)

This is possible because software can “spoof” a MAC address so that the MAC address presented to a network doesn’t actually correspond to the device presenting it. MAC-address spoofing can be used by malicious hackers use to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks — they can pretend to be both the victim and the Wi-Fi router, positioning themselves to view Internet traffic and capture unencrypted data — but it can also be used to maintain privacy when moving through an environment rich with Wi-Fi networks.

This enhanced-privacy feature won’t stop man-in-the-middle attacks, but it will stop MAC-address-based tracking practiced by marketers — or police departments.

However, it also conveniently removes a competitor to iBeacon, which the company is encouraging retailers to use to target shoppers with hyperlocalized ads beamed to their iPhones. Introduced with iOS 7, iBeacon uses Bluetooth, not Wi-Fi, to track and communicate with iOS devices in a retail establishment.

MAC-address randomization isn’t iOS 8’s only new privacy feature. Mobile Safari users will be given the option to make their default search engine Duck Duck Go, a privacy-centric service that doesn’t store users’ personal information to customize searches. Duck Duck Go also doesn’t tell a Web page which search terms you used to find it, and also connects to the encrypted versions of websites whenever possible.



Paying a malware ransom is bad, but telling people to never do it is unhelpful advice

Paying a malware ransom is bad, but telling people to never do it is unhelpful advice

Paying a malware ransom is bad, but telling people to never do it is unhelpful advice

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Apr 26, 2016

 [Original post HERE]

I’m not usually one to spread panic about security issues, but in the case of the current ransomware plague, I believe that at the very least a sense of great concern is justified. And the threat is unlikely to disappear any time soon.

While there are certainly many things we can do to significantly reduce the risk of us getting infected — from applying all necessary patches and keeping offline backups, to running software that alerts us when files are suddenly being modified en masse — ultimately, ransomware does what we all should be doing: encrypting our files. The subtle but essential difference is that it does so with a key we don’t have.

One reason why ransomware is so successful is that the ransom demanded is usually only a few hundred dollars — affordable to most people (ransomware tends to target users in Western countries) and often cheaper than the (perceived) value of the data that would otherwise be lost. However, security experts regularly tell affected individuals and organizations never to pay the ransom.

I think this is unhelpful advice.

For sure, paying the ransom should always be the last resort. We should help victims, and the jack-of-all-trades sysadmins who are likely going to assist them, find other ways to recover the data. Maybe backups have been kept. Maybe this particular ransomware is one for which a decryption tool is available. And maybe losing the data — which could also have happened because of a physical failure of the hard drive — is an expensive but valuable lesson on the importance of keeping backups.

But sometimes, none of this helps and the only sensible business decision left is to pay the criminals, much as it is bad and much as there is never a 100% guarantee that this will work. Crooks will be crooks, after all.

Of course, if everyone followed the advice never to pay a ransom, ransomware authors would come to find that it wasn’t worth their effort, and the threat would eventually disappear. But this wouldn’t happen instantly, and it really would depend on almost everyone not paying the ransom.

And if security experts suddenly had the power to make everyone follow their advice, maybe we should just tell people to patch instead.


AMD Radeon Pro Duo Dual Fiji GPU Now Available, Built For VR

AMD Radeon Pro Duo Dual Fiji GPU Now Available, Built For VR

In March of this year, AMD revealed the Radeon Pro Duo, a dual Fiji GPU graphics card with 8GB of HBM memory and capable of delivering up to 16 teraflops of compute performance. The company had said that the card would be released in Q2 2016, and today it is available for purchase.

AMD said the Radeon Pro Duo is meant for VR content creation of all varieties, including game development, VR journalism and medical research and more. The company said the card was designed for heavy workloads that come with VR content creation and that the Radeon Pro Duo’s compute performance will help “bring tomorrow’s VR content to market in record time.”

“With the Radeon Pro Duo, it’s our objective to solve major problems developers face, by reducing latency and accelerating the VR pipeline through close collaboration with the content development community and with AMD LiquidVR technology,” said AMD in its press materials.

AMD is pushing the Radeon Pro Duo as a solution for VR content creation, but there’s nothing stopping you (except maybe the price) from using it as a top-end graphics solution for gaming. The card features two liquid-cooled Fiji GPUs, each paired with 4GB of HBM memory, and AMD said it has support for DX12. (We would love to show you performance numbers, but we haven’t received a sample to test. An AMD representative told Tom’s Hardware that the company has decided not to send samples to enthusiast sites for independent testing.)

The Radeon Pro Duo will sell for the not-insignificant sum of $1,499. AMD said it is available today worldwide, from select partners. Every Radeon Pro Duo graphics card comes bundled with the Liquid VR SDK to help developers and content creators to coax the most performance out of their creations.


Source: toms hardware,31678.html

A single infected smartphone could cost your business thousands of euros

A single infected smartphone could cost your business thousands of euros

A single infected smartphone could cost your business thousands of euros


A few months ago, Apple devices were the victim of a large-scale cyber-attack, the largest in the company’s history. The company had to withdraw more than 50 iPhone, iPad and Mac apps from the App Store as they installed malicious software that allowed criminals to control users’ devices remotely and steal personal information.

So you see, not even the company with the half eaten apple logo, which boasts about the security measures applied to their technologies, is free from falling into cyber-criminals’ traps.  Smartphone attacks pose a great risk to device security and data privacy, and this is even worse in work environments.

According to a recent report from renowned research institute Ponemon, the number of employees using personal devices to access corporate data has increased 43 percent over the last few years, and 56 percent of corporate data is available for access from a smartphone.

The consequences of this situation can be translated into economic figures. A single infected smartphone can cost a company over€8,0000 on average, and the estimated global figure for all cyber-attacks over an entire year can reach €15 million.


Researchers interviewed 588 IT professionals from companies in the Forbes Global 2000 list (a list of the word’s biggest public companies) to know their opinion about mobile security. 67 percent of respondents believed it was very likely that their company had already suffered data leakage, as employees could access sensitive and confidential corporate data from their smartphones.

However, there are still more reasons for concern.

When asked about what data could be accessed by employees, most of the interviewees showed little knowledge.  Workers could access far more information than IT security heads thought, including workers’ personal data, confidential documents and customer information.

Luckily, there is also good news. According to the report, 16 percent of a company’s budget is invested in mobile security, a percentage that is expected to reach 37 percent.

Additionally, more than half of the companies that took part in the study had some type of system in place to manage the data accessible to employees through their smartphones, as well as security measures such as lists of malicious apps, authentication systems and platforms to manage user access and accounts.

Researches don’t believe that going back to the past or banning the use of personal devices for work purposes are effective measures, as working in the cloud and virtual environments is increasingly common. That’s why they suggest that the solution should be to set clear limits to the information that can be accessed from personal devices, and educating employees about the risk of such practices and the available tools to neutralize them, such as those provided by Panda Security.



Whether it’s a waiting room, red light, church, school, hospital, restaurant, gym or park nearly everyone can be seen on their smartphones, either texting, on social media, listening to music or just browsing the web.

Is this newfound means of connection really keeping people disconnected? Has the advancement of technology removed people from real intimacy?

According to Dr. Ioana Shirley, psychiatrist at Psychiatry Consultants LLC., in Birmingham, “It’s not a matter of technology replacing intimacy it’s just a matter of using technology and adjusting to it instead of allowing it to evolve our lives. In some ways I think the actual intimacy can be better, but it can also be worst . . . there is a fine line because smartphones are also very helpful. There is therapy on the phone and information that people otherwise wouldn’t get.”

Smartphones also have a downside for some business owners, said James Lewis, Owner and Chef at Bettola Restaurant in Birmingham.

“Not only are smartphones replacing intimacy it can also cause problems at work, especially when people are addicted to it, they either keep looking at it, using it or playing on it when they’re not supposed to, so there is a constant struggle of that happening within the business,” Lewis said.

Another problem, he said, is when you text “you could be saying one thing but it can come off completely different and that creates a rift that didn’t need to be in the conversation in the first place.”

Some lawyers point to the impact of phones in the legal arena.

“Smartphones and social media have changed the landscape of the evidence that is available in personal injury and divorce cases,” says attorney Patrice Blankenship of Blankenship and Associates, PC. “What you find is that infidelity and inappropriate relations are more easily proven with the new technology, texting and social media. Phones have a major impact on the infidelity grounds for divorce as far as being able to prove it. But it is very hurtful to the other party because they know exactly what their spouse is doing.”

Blankenship admits that she often communicates with her clients via text or email, because it’s more efficient, but when it comes to personal relationships she feels that technology does remove intimacy.

“Even though people use capital letters when texting it’s still not the same as face to face communication,” she said. “I still had to get myself abreast with a lot of the abbreviations, because I didn’t know what they meant, so I had to get one of my nieces or cousins to help me with that . . . I’m still learning it. But it does impact the way we communicate.”

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of U.S adults have a smartphone, up from 35 percent in 2011. Their research shows 86 percent of those 18-29 years of age have a smartphone, along with 83 percent of those ages 30-49 and 87 percent of those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually.

Lebaron Marks, of Marks Media Cinematography LLC., in Birmingham, who is in that 30-49 age range admits that he uses his smartphone for everything, but he can’t deny its negative impact when it comes to real human interaction. “It’s a more convenient way to communicate, but it is making things less personable than they use to be,” he said.

The Tablet Is Dead As We Know It – and That’s Good

Most people — including me — scoffed when former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins declared in 2013 that the tablet would be dead in five years. Fast forward just two years and his prediction doesn’t seem quite as ridiculous. For the first time ever, tablet sales declined year over year during the fourth quarter, according to IDC. In other words, consumers ignored slates during the critical holiday season in favor of other types of gadgets, like fitness trackers, Chromebooks and drones.

As it turns out, tablets aren’t dying but finding their niche, which is exactly what this category needs to do to survive.

The Big Fall

Here are some sobering numbers. Four of the top five tablet makers posted double-digit declines in Q4, including Apple. Despite the addition of the iPad Air 2 and the warmed-over refresh that was the iPad mini 3 (whoopee, Touch ID!), the company saw negative growth of nearly 18 percent. Samsung posted comparable figures, although Apple still nearly doubles Sammy in market share (28.1 versus 14.5 percent).

While discussing Apple’s otherwise blockbuster quarter — thanks to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus — CEO Tim Cook admitted that the iPad is struggling. “There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other.” However, Cook remains bullish on the category, especially in regards to the enterprise, where Apple has a strategic partnership in place with IBM.


Speaking of businesses, there may be an iPad Pro on the horizon, which is rumored to offer a larger 12-inch display in addition to better multitasking capabilities in iOS. But according to Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC, it won’t be able to reverse Apple’s fortunes in this market.

“I think such a device would likely be targeted at the commercial or prosumer space rather than at general consumers,” Ubrani said. “And while the commercial market is expected to grow, it still won’t account for the majority of the whole tablet market, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPad Pro were relegated to being a niche market device.”

Longer Upgrade Cycles, Less Innovation

Of all tablet makers, Amazon is feeling the most pain right now. The company saw its growth implode by 70 percent year over year. Part of me wonders whether the bomb that was the Fire phone rubbed off on the rest of the company’s product line, but Ubrani believes it’s much simpler than that. For a while, Amazon had the lower end of the slate market locked up, but then other vendors such as Acer, Asus, E Fun and RCA muscled into its territory.

But there’s a bigger issue at play here other than collapsing prices. The novelty has worn off. Everyone who wanted a tablet now owns one, and there just isn’t enough of a difference from one generation of tablet to the next to compel shoppers to upgrade. For example, my 10-year-old daughter is perfectly content with her first-generation Amazon Kindle for reading books, playing games and binge-watching old episodes of Full House.

It seems most consumers feel the same way. Newer tablets have moderately faster CPUs, sharper screens and better cameras. So what? As a result, an increasing number of people are perfectly content to hold onto their slates longer. After all, most if not all of the apps and games they want to use continue to work just fine.

Some are blaming the tablet crash on the rise of phablets, or big-screen phones, but IDC’s Ubrani doesn’t believe that to be the primary cause. “I would say that longer replacement cycles are likely the larger factor in the slowdown of the tablet market. Phablets are slowly gaining share but we still do not expect them to account for the majority of smartphone shipments.” However, it’s no coincidence that the share of small tablets is decreasing.

‘Nichification’ to the Rescue

The most exciting tablet of all of 2014 was the Shield Tablet, because Nvidia found a way to turn a slate into a bona fide gaming console. The company harnesses the power inside its K1 chip to offer great Android performance but also to stream the most demanding games from your PC.

The “nichification” of tablets will continue in 2015, with productivity being the biggest theme. Despite some early miscues, 2-in-1 hybrid devices are starting to resonate with tablet buyers. You get a tablet and laptop in one device, sometimes for a very reasonable price. The Asus Transformer Book T200, for instance, delivers a full Windows experience, a detachable 11-inch slate and a full-size keyboard for less than the price of an iPad.

“We’ve seen substantial growth in the 2-in-1 space,” Ubrani said. “Two-in-1s have been growing faster [than traditional tablets] but they are also coming off a small base. For what it’s worth, Intel argues that 2-in-1s should be considered its own category.

On the high end of the market, Microsoft’s Surface line recently surpassed 1 billion in revenue for a single quarter. Ubrani said that the company will likely crack the top 10 once IDC is done calculating its quarterly figures. But despite some clever marketing, I refuse to buy Microsoft’s argument that this tablet can replace your laptop. It’s just still too awkward to use as a clamshell in your lap.

Nevertheless, I’m more optimistic about the 2-in-1 category than I’ve ever been, thanks to a wave of better designs (like the Lenovo Yoga Pro and the Asus Transformer Book Chi) and the promise of Windows 10. Microsoft’s upcoming OS will make switching between laptop and tablet modes more seamless, as well as streamline the entire user experience. The revamped Start menu, Action menu and Settings screens are all steps in the right direction.

Parents who don’t want to hand their kids a smartphone — and pay through the nose for yet another data plan — is another growing tablet niche. Fuhu has done the best job catering to this crowd with its devices, which focus on learning, parent-approved content and games, and earning rewards for doing your chores. The company sells two big-screen devices (at 20 and 24 inches) with all sorts of creative tools for junior, and a 65-inch device that doubles as a TV is next.

However, older kids may be better off with a Chromebook, which are cheap and come with a full keyboard.

Bottom Line

It looks like the tablet market is coming full circle. The original Microsoft Tablet PC platform aimed for the masses but ultimately found a niche with professionals and field workers because the devices served that audience best. The iPad’s launch was a rebirth for the entire category, putting the Web, content and apps right at our fingertips, but now big-screen phones do the same thing. That means tablet makers need to get creative to target more specific segments.

From gaming-focused slates and kids tablets that focus on ease of use and parental controls to big-screen devices optimized for productivity, the tablet isn’t dying. It’s being reinvented for narrower audiences and uses. While the overall market will probably never bounce back to previous levels, the devices that emerge from this upheaval will be more innovative, practical and fun.


Source: Toms guide,news-20401.html

Safer selfies on the way as Instagram plans two-step verification

Safer selfies on the way as Instagram plans two-step verification

Safer selfies on the way as Instagram plans two-step verification


More than 400 million selfie lovers can breathe a sigh of relief – Instagram, the social network phenomenon, has revealed that thetwo-step verification process is soon to be unveiled on its platform.

This means that Instagram accounts will now be better protected by a log-in procedure which should make things harder for cyber-attackers trying to access accounts without permission. With the new two-step procedure, an email address and password will no longer be enough to enter; the user will also need to have the smartphone that the account is linked to.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, already offers the new log-in option, and now the photo platform will boast it, too. Every person that has an account on Instagram can now link it to a telephone number, ensuring an extra layer of security.

So, every time that someone (even the account owner) tries to access the account from a new device, the social media platform will send a code to this telephone number. Without this code it will be impossible to access the account.

instagram filters

This new feature will be rolled out progressively, so soon all users that are worried about their security will be able to enter their telephone number and avoid cyber-attackers accessing their accounts and eliminating photos or using the account for malicious means.

Caution on Instagram

This new security measures comes not long after the platform put its own users’ privacy at risk. When it introduced a new feature, the ability to manage various accounts from the same device, there were serious security issues unearthed.

A bug meant that some users could see notifications belonging to other accounts that shared the device. This highlighted that having the same Instagram account synchronized on different devices meant that different users could see messages, notifications, and even like other photos.

instagram message

Despite this flaw being fixed, what is certain is that internet users must always take care when sharing information and should be aware of their privacy online.

Thus, the two-step verification process on Instagram is a step forward in terms of security and should protect users the same way as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google already do. Even though new verification techniques are being worked on (such as the ones created by a group of investigators at the ETH Information Security Institute in Zurich), at the moment the best way is to use our personal telephone numbers.

However, it’s just as important to have a two-step verification as it is have secure passwords: they should be long, contain numbers; different cases; symbols, and should be different for each account. To be able to manage the large number of passwords needed today, it’s best to have a password manager just like the one offered by Panda via its different protection packs, which allows you to be in control of different passwords at the click of a button.

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