Monday, 31 August 2015

HTC Vive Launches This Year, but the Bulk will be Released in 2016


HTC has announced its plans to provide a limited release of its much-waited virtual reality headset named Vive this year. HTC will be launching its devices in limited quantity later this year followed by a large-scale massive launch in the first half of 2016. It has kept both the dates of launches under wrap for the time being but the virtual reality segment is already buzzing with this promising announcement. HTC Vive headset provides much freedom of movement to the users by allowing them to walk freely which helps in adding extra depth to the wholesome gaming experience. On the other hand, the available virtual reality sets just let the users move them within a restricted space.

How virtual reality headsets work? 

Virtual reality headsets are basically worn by the users on their eyes and headsets happens to provide one a kind full 3D virtual environment to the gamers to explore. In order to enhance the gaming experience an additional connected controller is provided. Virtual reality sphere is mainly used for gaming sector and virtual devices are gradually increasing their support for several popular titles.

Market analysts are predicting that the virtual reality can even make foray in the film industry with time and popularity. In the recent times, few filmmakers had utilized this technology to understand its potential in the entertainment industry.

HTC gives a major preference to Vibe 

HTC is a trusted name in the field of Smartphones but over the years, it has received serious competition from the Smartphone majors- Apple and Samsung. HTC had made its foray in the virtual reality sector in order to give a boot to its business operations. Earlier HTC had developed a remarkable Steam online gaming platform in collaboration with Valve. Now it is relying on its partner to launch the virtual reality device called Vive on full scale in first quarter of 2016.

HTC to get stiff competition in 2016 

HTC’s Vive will get some stiff competition from other upcoming virtual devices namely Facebook’s Occult Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, which are expected to be launched in 2016. Therefore it is quite unclear why HTC decided to go for only a limited in 2015 rather than going with wider launch in 2015 and getting a huge share of virtual reality market. HTC must be trying to get few people used to its Vive then build a demand for this remarkable when it opens up for wider scale launch in first half of 2016. With all these marvelous projections, expectations and launches 2016 certainly will be a decisive year for the virtual reality devices.

Future prospects of HTC Vive 

HTC understands the importance of 2016 when a large number of virtual reality devices will be rolling out to appease the customers and it is hoping to grab a bigger pie of the market by building a demand with limited launch this year. The head of marketing executive for HTC Jeff Gattis had predicted selling of virtual devices anywhere between 2-3 million next year.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

A Little Light Interaction Leaves Quantum Physicists Beaming

A remarkable research conducted by a group of physicists had brought insightful revelations where it is possible to make building block of the quantum computer with the use of pure light. This team of physicists comes from University of Toronto and they had successfully published their paper in the Nature Physics on ‘logic gateway’ an essential segment of computer circuitry.

What are logic gate? 

Logic gates segments are designed to execute operations on the input data in order to create outputs. In the earlier times during the phase of classical computers, the diodes or transistors formed the logic gates but with the advancement of quantum computer component it is now comprised of both the individual atoms as well as subatomic particles. Processing of information as per the laws of the quantum physics usually takes place when these particles interact with each other.

In the quantum computing the light particles are known as ‘photos’ and offers various advantages but it is extremely difficult to invoke interaction among them in a profitable manner. The research conducted by the physicist from University of Toronto is centered on finding successful ways of creating such interactions.

Researchers are upbeat with their experiment results

One of the paper’s authors Aephraim Steinberg had shed some amazing insight on the experiment results. Physicists at the University Of Toronto had studied the effect of photon on an optical beam but they had advanced their experiment in a wholesome fashion. In usual conditions, light beam passes through each other without causing change on effect on the other. In order to effectively develop technologies such as optical quantum computers it is necessary to make beams interact with one another. But no one had achieved feat with using just single photon.

How this experiment was conducted? 

The researchers had conducted this experiment of creating light beams interaction in a delicate process of two steps. A shot of single photon was forced at the rubidium atoms so that it iced to a millionth of a degree above absolute zero. Later on the photons become intertwined with the atoms and this resulted in rubidium interaction to another optical beam. The photon started changing the atom’s refractive index which brought a minute but calculable “phase shift” in the beam. This method used in the experiment can be actively brought into use in the optical quantum logic gate, which will facilitate input-output and information-processing.

Where this experiment can be applied? 

The best place to use this experiment in wholesome application is in the quantum logic gates. This advanced process will help in seeing the interactions in a new manner and in the study of optics a new filed will be revealed. Currently the researchers are working further to answer two important questions i.e. what happens when dealing with one particle of light at time and how differently the light beams will interact with other. Researchers are hopeful of finding these essential questions answers soon with continuous research and experimentations.

Gmail to Auto-Sync Events to Google Calendar

Google is all set to bring productivity and efficient management of precious time by collaborating its two prominent app in one of kind auto sync crossover. It had brought new feature auto sync the two major apps i.e. Gmail and Google Calendar in order to make personal life, business, travel and event management a breeze. In upcoming days when you receive the Gmail notification for any booking of flight, restaurant, hotel or other event information then its details will be automatically added to the Google Calendar. This crossover will laminate the need of typing or adding those details back in the Calendar as a reminder for later on.

Who will benefit from this crossover? 

People who engage in lot of travel related to work or happen to go on long drives, vacations or just wishes to get better management over these activities will benefit from this new feature. This new feature will get automatically enabled by default for all the people using theses Google Apps regardless of their mobile OS. With this feature Gmail will be able to auto-populate the Google Calendar in a timely fashion with information even related to the delay in the fights, check-in times, flight number and much more. This feature will work efficiently along all the mobile platforms such as Android, iOS and other along with the desktops.

Google has high hopes with this integration

Google is hopeful that this new feature of auto sync will help in providing better ways to the users for saving time and engaging with one another in a productive manner.

Another new feature has been integrated which brings an ability to reuse the old posts. This feature remains enabled by default on both the devices i.e. mobile Calendar and desktop but users can easily turn off or delete the events as per their need. In the educational field this feature can be used to form new announcements by simply tweaking the old posts rather than going through the trouble writing new post from the scratch.

Privacy will be maintained with this new feature

Google had given a huge emphasis upon the privacy and had ensured that the events and plans are broadcasted to the public in any case. The events added in the Calendar from the Gmail will only be made visible to the calendar owner. In the visibility section users can even adjust the visibility criteria along with deleting the unwanted items which might get added to the Calendar.

In order to activate this beneficial program Google Calendar will sent a one-time email notification which will give all the essential details regarding the settings as well the sharing details. Google will be releasing this new feature of auto syncing among the Gmail and Calendar apps by the end of September. This update is expected to bring a new level of productivity among the users and a lot of time will be saved which usually gets wasted in creating events based on the information received via Gmail regarding the work, personal events and tour and programs.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Ten of the Best Football Apps and Games

This upcoming new season of football can be enjoyed in a much better on the tablet and smartphone by using some smart football apps. Here are some smart football apps which offer more than just checking scores and reading recent news.

Flick Click Football Free on iOS & Android

This football game is all centered on scoring goals by just flicking the fingers on the screen and avoiding the alert defenders and goalkeepers. The response for touches is highly improvised and offers highly tuned flicking mechanics for perfect gaming experience. This game brings a variety of modes from just hitting the bulls-eye targets to scoring as much as you can within a set time limit. This game is loaded with in-app purchases, which offer to increase the intensity of the game and improve the skills of the users.

Stats Zone by FourFourTwo Free on iOS & Android

This game is seen as a spin-off from FourFourTwo magazine, which in the past has brought some smart statistics in its pages, which offered new insight in the football dynamics. This football app is great at bringing smart statistics ion form of graphs and numbers on the screen carefully managing different leagues and teams. It taps the Opta database in order to retrieve match statistics therefore its able to provide intense and in-depth data related to player performance and gaming attributes rather just checking scores.

Corner Available Free on iOS & Android

Corner is a football app, which offers an incredible help in locating the nearby pub in UK, which showcases the football matches on the TV. It offers fast and easy way of choosing the match and sees which nearby pubs are showing it in their premises along with other details like the kind of foods being served, WiFi connectivity as well as beer gardens.

Ultimate Fan Live Free on iOS & Android

Most of the people use a wide number of fantasy football tournament ranging from the Telegraph fantasy tournament to official Premier League game. Ultimate Fan Live brings an interesting spin on this format by bringing the best experiences by just signing up and creating a new league with your friends. It is a live form of fantasy tournament wherein users can choose just two players before the match and points are earned later on by performing all the action s in the game, which helps in boosting up the total.

OneFootball Free on iOS, Android and Windows

It is a highly popular football app, which offers a great avenue to look out for news, statistics and scores for the fans. It offers some popular features like push notifications, minute-by-minute commentaries, one-to-one and group messaging service and others. The app design is neat and carefully organized to display results in a friendly manner. It is available for free on three popular mobile based OS namely iOS, Android and Windows and is filled with in app purchases to enhance its usability and utility.

Metamaterial wormhole Teleports Magnetic Fields across Space

Metamaterials are the stuff futurists dream of: painstakingly engineered materials of conventional origin (plastics, metal, etc.) that display properties not found in nature, enabling things like invisibility (also sometimes called ‘cloaking’), imaging beyond the diffraction limit of light and dissipating seismic waves.

Metamaterials differ with conventional materials

In that they display significant interaction with the magnetic component of electromagnetic waves. It is this property that has been exploited by Alvaro Sanchez et al. at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona), in Spain, who claim to have built the world’s first magnetic wormhole. Unlike the wormhole of the popular lexicon however, this is no portal in space-time that allows travelling over great distances almost instantaneously; it is simply a device that allows a magnetic field originating in one region to emerge elsewhere, the device itself remaining magnetically undetectable. Simply put: an invisible (so to speak) device that absorbs a magnetic field at one end and emits the field, unchanged, at the other, much like an invisible garden hose that apparently causes water to vanish at the tap and spontaneously rematerialize at the other end.

This “pipe of magnetism” seems fairly insignificant at first glance, until you consider that when a magnetic field disappears at a point, it effectively is a magnetic monopole.

More about the idea

The idea was first put forth in a 2008 paper “Electromagnetic wormholes and virtual magnetic monopoles” by Allan Greenleaf et al. According to Matti Lassas at the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, co-author of the 2008 paper, some clever manipulations of the mathematical constructs in that paper, by the scientists at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, have enabled the “wormhole device” to finally fall within the scope of present engineering techniques.

The device has at its core a magnetised nickel-iron tube, coated with “metasurfaces” that actually transmits the magnetic field. It is surrounded by a spherical mesh of superconducting alloy (made of yttrium barium copper oxide) that helps with both repelling the field inside the tube as well as protecting it from distortion due to incoming external fields. Now to completely make the arrangement magnetically undetectable, the sphere is further enclosed in a ferromagnetic metal array that disguises the superconductor’s magnetic signature. The entire arrangement is dipped in liquid nitrogen to bring the temperature down to where the yttrium barium alloy becomes superconducting.

The result is simply that a magnetic field disappears into one end of the apparatus and appears out the other end. No field is detected between the two ends. This is effectively a pair of monopoles, one at each end of the device.

This ‘cloaking’ of magnetic fields as they travel has significant advantages, the most obvious of which, at least at the present, is in the field of medicine. The MRI machine has revolutionised medical care by providing doctors the ability to fully image the entire human body, a very tedious and slow process with x-rays, which also posed the risk of radiation overexposure, in very little time. With this device multiple imagers could work simultaneously without mutual distortion. The ‘cloaking’ effect could also be implemented in that it would be possible to use metal implements, viz. surgical equipment, in the vicinity of an MRI machine. Presently, the strong fields emanated by an MRI machine can cause unsecured metal to fly across the room. Metal also interferes with the imaging.

Another scenario is one in which the patient does not have to lie inside a loud claustrophobic machine for a scan; the fields generated by the actual machine could simply be “teleported” around the patient.

Most of all though, this device actually presents us with a functional magnetic monopole, the likes of which have eluded us, despite theoretical evidence, for decades. New research will definitely open avenues to as-of-yet unknown applications for the magnetic wormhole.

Assuming this holds up to third-party confirmation and is peer reviewed for accuracy, it really might be a real game changer.

Next stop, real matter?

MIT Unveils 3D Printing Method Using Glass Instead of Plastic

They’re calling it 3DGP for Glass 3D Printing.

Borne out of collaboration between the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, the MIT Glass Lab and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, 3DGP is the first time transparent glass has been used as precursor, the “ink” in common printing parlance, in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. The paper titled “Additive Manufacturing of Optically Transparent Glass” by Neri Oxman, John Klein et al. will be published in the September 2015 issue of 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing (3DP+).

  • Using optical glass as precursor in the printing process is a first
The machine works like a conventional 3D printer, where layer upon layer of the precursor is deposited on a work surface, thereby literally building a product from the ground up. In 3DGP, the upper part of the machine is the kiln containing molten glass at up to 1100°C, which is then piped through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle, which traces the shape to be printed in all three dimensions. The lower chamber anneals the constructed structures.

The process is laser precise and could pave the way for fundamentally changing how glass and related objects are manufactured, the most obvious example being fibre optics, made with higher accuracy and lesser expense, which might be integrated into other surfaces or fabricated materials. This will enable them, for instance, to be incorporated in building construction, such as in precast walls or glass façades, the latter of which can now be created in unimaginable shapes. Also under consideration are printable optoelectronics and photonics.

  •  Printed architectural structures incorporated with fibre optics and optoelectronics a possibility
The accuracy with which the thickness and shape of the glass can be controlled is significant: geometrical variations can be used to generate desired forms of transparency, reflectivity, refractivity and various other properties.

With cutting edge research and indigenous processes and methodology at stake, people are understandably unwilling to reveal the nitty-gritties of the process. Extruder manufacturer Micron3DP, with a similar glass 3D printer in development, has been equally reluctant to share information, except that their printhead can reach temperatures up to 1640°C.

  • Details about the printing process and glass composition are closely guarded
Although the products of 3DGP have only been novelties until now, the group at MIT will soon begin to print various other geometrically complex structures, chiefly those with architectural applications. And like with any case of 3D printing, the bespoke nature of the work means maximum compatibility with each and every application.

Intricate glass work has always remained outside the domain of mechanisation; manual work by master glassblowers has been the way to go. How this new technology might clash with the age-old practice remains unknown. 3D printing might breach new frontiers of adhesion between layers, lack of light distortion, clarity, and most importantly, indistinguishability. Complex patterns created by hand will never be identical to the previous case. 3DGP and its competition do not suffer from this drawback; they can create identical products over and over.

  • Glass-blowing: an art on the way out?
3D printing might also enable creation of new shapes and structures that might have been impossible to fashion by hand, whether due to weight or other restrictions.

New Internet Routing Method Allows Users to Avoid Sending Data through Undesired Countries

Censorship of information has become quite commonplace all across the world. The developing countries and developed countries- both are using censorship in similar fashion to thwart the flow of information on the online medium. Censorship is even a greatest threat to the open channel communication on the internet. If data travels from the route, which passes by countries, which had placed censorship, then it is a cause of worry for data integrity.

A new system offers sublime internet routing features

Some computer scientists at the University Of Maryland have come up with a commendable solution of advanced internet routing method. A method has been developed which provides a concrete proof to the internet users so that their information does not cross through certain geographical areas, which possess censorship. The advantage of using of this new system is that it can be deployed immediately without wasting any time and it happens to be extremely easier to use and doesn’t require any special or extensive knowledge.

How this new internet routing method works?

This new system of internet routing has been named Alibi Routing and is expected to be presented in the upcoming event of Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group On Data Communications (ACM SIGCOMM) in London.

Information when transmitted over the internet in form of website requests or email content then it is broken into different packets and later on it is sent through a series of routers until it reaches its destination. Through the censoring of content, some parts of the world are known to actively engage in modifying the data, which is returned to the users. Alibi Routing uses an extensive peer-to-peer network in order to locate peers- who are running alibi routing software- and relay the user’s packets to the final destination through avoiding the forbidden regions. In this system a peer is termed as “alibi” whose work is to provide proof through calculations whether the information can relay fast at a particular time over a particular geographical location or not. Successful rates show that the information has reached successfully to its desired destination without traversing through the forbidden regions.

Users can use safety parameter in the Alibi Routing in order to get much better control over their data. If a safety parameter is set at larger then it will be hard to find an alibi but at smaller safety parameter alibi can be found easier. The safety parameter shows the user’s desired level confidence whether their data packets are safeguarded from travelling the forbidden regions or not.

Alibi Routing gives better control to users over their data
In the recent times, censorship of the internet traffic and information has resulted in the creation of suspicious boomerang routing. This routing makes it easier to monitor the data, which leaves a region to come back again, which is not at good for the end users. Computer scientists have developed the Alibi Routing system in a bid to empower the users to have better control over what happens with their data on the internet.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Charge Your Phone the Lo-Fi Way


Charging Phone – Lo-Fi Way - Nipper

From pocket solar panels and kinetic energy converting armbands to wireless inductive charging docks, portable phone charger market seems to be more like science fiction with each passing day. For those interested in updated lo-fi option or has a backlog of AA batteries around the place, could utilise a gadget known as Nipper which could be of some help.

The Nipper tends to hold in place, two AA batteries with magnets and plugs in the smartphone’s micro USB port in order to deliver extra jolt of power around 10% with 30 minute charge and 20% with one hour charging. It has been developed for the purpose of quick spurts and emergencies instead of full fuel ups and is appropriate for those moments of time when one tends to be trapped in a subway station and to avoid the risk of arrest by plugging into an outlet.

The Nipper is hyper portable measuring around 17mm cubes and fits on a keychain. Presently it only works on phones with micro-USB connectors with models of Samsung, HTC, Nokia and other Android devices. However, the designers are of the opinion that an iPhone compatible option is in the pipeline and the first Nipper would be shipped in April 2016.

Small Phone Charger – Emergency Use

The Nipper is a small phone charger, small enough to be carried around wherever you go and is readily available everywhere – household AA batteries and is primarily designed for emergency use. It is the phone’s smallest phone charger and can be carried anywhere.

When one is in desperate need in using the phone, but is unable to access to the laptops, electrical sockets, wind turbine or solar panels, the Nipper comes to your aid in these situations. When it is not being used, it can be attached to a keychain, pocket or bag and when needed, you can open the Nipper and place two AA batteries between the magnets and connect the same to the phone.

 The Nipper tends to give an extra 10% battery capacity in 30 minutes and 20% in over an hour for a modern smartphone which was tested by utilising a HTC one M7 with Duracell Ultra AA batteries. The power output differs based on the batteries used, in the case of new Duracell batteries; it was found that it gave 500mAh.

Circuit – Boost Converter

The Nipper comprises of 3 neodynium magnets and have the double function of holding the batteries in place while simultaneously makes an electrical connection to the Nipper circuit board. This circuit is known as a boost converter which turns the power from the batteries into a 5v power supply in order to charge the phone.
If the volume of Nipper is small, 3D print of the cases out of high quality nylon will be done but if the demand is high and the need to make a full Nipper army is needed, mold will be injected in the cases out of polypropylene. The two halves of the Nipper can be connected by fabric or genuine leather straps. The neodymium is the nickel plated on the classic Nippers while gold plated on premium Nippers.

The AA batteries are generally recognized and the most widely sold battery and though it does not seems to be sensible relying on AA batteries for daily charging of the phone, it could prove to be handy in times of emergency.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

IBM Announces 7 nm Computer Chip Breakthrough

The latest breakthrough in technology seems to have overcome the main issue, which had posed one of the most "grand challenges" of the industry. IBM has created a test version of a semiconductor, which has the ability to shrink down the circulatry. This prototype is the first of its kind in the world. The microchip industry is always evolving and there are better products available in the market every new day. This ever evolving industry has to face immense difficulties due to the extent of their growth and due to various technological and physical limitations. But inspite of all the hindrances IBM has been successful in creating a chip with seven nanometers transistors.

Gradual advancement

The leader of this industry, Intel has been the recipient of several technical hurdles throughout. Technologists have even begun to question one of their foundation theories; they are questioning whether the long withstanding pace of chip improvement, the Moore's Law, could possibly continue beyond the present 14-nanometre generation of chips. Every generation of chip technology can be differentiated with the aid of the least size of fundamental component, which switches the current at nanosecond intervals. Now the advancement in technology has made the transition from the 14 nanometer to the manufacturing of 10-nanometer generation of chips.

Ever-evolving technology

This advanced technology created by IBM is basically an advanced version of the ultradense computer chips which has approximately four times the capacity of the other most powerful chips. As the advancements are brought forward in every generation of the chips, each of them brings forth an estimate of around 50% reduction in the region required by a given amount of circuitry. The new chips created by IBM are suggestive of a possibility that the semiconductor technology shall continue to shrink at least through 2018.

Individual identity

The advanced feature in these chips are the presence of the This advanced technology created by IBM is basically an advanced version of the ultradense computer chips which has approximately four times the capacity of the other most powerful chips. IBM has used silicon-germanium in their chips. In the other variants of chips, pure silicon is used. But IBM instead of using pure silicon has opted for silicon-germanium, which happens to be the key ingredient of the molecular-size switches. This also aids in faster transistor switching and in the lower power requirements.

Yet to be released in the market! 

However, it must be duly noted that most of these are mere speculations and experimentation. Nothing has been launched in the market as of yet. There are numerous complex procedures, which will test whether the product is viable for sale in the market. IBM shall take the final decision in collaboration with their development partners at the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. In the previous year, IBM had released a statement, which had declared their 3 billion dollars investment over a time period of five years to forward their chip technology and meet the demands of cloud computing, mobile products, data and other technologies.

Announcing the D-Wave 2X Quantum Computer

D-Wave Systems Incorporation launched the world’s first quantum computer named D-Wave One which was commercially available on May, 2011. It operates on 128-qubit chipset and it uses quantum annealing technology in order to solve optimization problems. Many of the you don’t know what is a Qubit. Qubit is a quantum analogue of bit and it is a unit of quantum information used in quantum computing. It is also referred as quantum bit.

About D-Wave 2X Quantum Computer

D-Wave Systems is the only company based in British Columbia, Canada, known to sell quantum computers worldwide. It recently announced the availability of the new generation of quantum computers, named D-Wave 2X. D-wave 2X will help customers to solve very complex as well as larger problems with its 1000+qubits capacity including other advancements in technology.

Besides having beyond 1000 qubits capacity, it also incorporates other scientific technologies. Advancements include it operates at 15millikelvin temperature, very close to absolute zero. Having 128,000 Josephson tunnel junctions, it consists of most complex superconductor integrated circuits as new processors ever used successfully. Its 50% noise reduction has led to its quicker performance.

Performance of D-Wave 2x

A number of benchmark tests have been done in order to compare it with ordinary PCs to solve optimization problems.

One of the benchmarks is computation time. Computation time needed to solve complex optimization problems with bigger problem size is same for both classical as well as quantum processors. Therefore it becomes prohibitive for the 1000+qubit D-Wave 2x processor to find the optimal solution. Even if optimal solutions are obtained, many large scale solvers tried to find solutions which were close to optimal and they were given a specified time to submit the best solution obtained.

In order to solve hardware problems, D-Wave Systems established Time to Target (TTT) metric. Summary of TTT are given below:
  • Near optimal solutions were found to be 600times faster than usual comparable times by highly skilled solvers. Quantum anneal time is used for this comparision.
  • Using total time measurements D-wave 2x found near-optimal solutions 15x faster than the solvers.
  • The hardware problems are of best performance than software solvers, which is of high advantage by using D-Wave 2x.
  • The difference between optimal and near-optimal solutions is very less around 1% less. But D-Wave 2x works 100x faster to find near-optimal solutions rather than optimal ones.
D-Wave’s product, the 1000+qubit D-Wave 2X quantum computer, is the most technologically advanced efficient quantum computer in the world. It is based on the concept of using a novel type of superconducting processor that takes the help of quantum mechanics to accelerate computation massively. It is the best computer that can tackle complex optimization problems that exist across many domains such as:
  • Optimization
  • Financial Analysis
  • Machine Learning
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Software/Hardware Verification
D-Wave 2x is such a high precision quantum computer that it can evaluate 21000 possible solutions that are converged to near-optimal solutions, thus having more possibilities than the articles that exists in this universe. The powerful effect of quantum computation is not shown by any ordinary computers of any kind that could represent such huge number of possibilities, thus making D-Wave 2x Quantum Computer a cutting edge technology.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Thousands of Cars Vulnerable to Keyless Theft, According to Researchers


Cars at Risk of Electronic Hacking

According to computer scientists, thousands of cars inclusive of high end-marques like the Porsches as well as the Maseratis are at risk of electronic hacking, since the research has been stifled for two years by court injunction for fear that it would help thieves to steal vehicles to order. It emphases a weakness in the Megamos Crypto system which is a kind of technology utilised by big manufacturers like Audi, Fiat, Honda, Volvo and Volkswagen.

It is invented to avert a car engine being started without the presence of a keyfob which contains the accurate radio frequency identification chip. Nevertheless, researchers at the Birmingham University and Radbound University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands are capable of intercepting signals that are sent between the chip and the car.

Listening twice enables them to utilise a process of reverse engineering, by using a commercially available computer programmer in order to identify the secret codes that are used in starting the car. According to Director of Cyber Security at the University of Warwick, Tim Watson who told Bloomberg that `it is not a theoretical weakness, it is an actual one it does not cost theoretical dollars to fix, it costs actual dollars’.

Publication Ban Denied Public Crucial Information

In 2012, the flaw had been identified by the researchers though Volkswagen won High Court injunctions in the prevention of its publication one year later. The motoring giant had commented that the work of Flavio Garcia, at Birmingham University and his two Dutch colleagues would allow someone especially a sophisticated criminal gang with the right tools, to break the security and steal a car’.

In reply, the researchers had debated that a publication ban denied the public crucial information with regards to security of their vehicles. Eventually they could reveal their results at the Usenix Security Symposium in Washington at the weekend with a sentence redacted.

`Dismantling Megamos Crypto: Wirelessly Lockpicking a Vehicle Immobiliser’, their paper, gives a description on how they began their research while police state that they were perplexed by the rising numbers of `keyless car theft’.

Chip System to Be Changed

The research had been published on the ground that the ban should block all essential information from the knowledge of the public. According to the Metropolitan Police, around 6000 vehicles seemed to be stolen without keys last year, half of which were all thefts.

The paper concluded that `the implications of the attacks portrayed in the paper were particularly serious for those vehicles having keyless ignition. At some point the mechanical key had been removed from the vehicle though the cryptographic mechanisms had not been strengthened to compensate it.

 It is recommended that the chip system be changed to one which could include a random number generator and thus make it difficult to use intercepted transmission in order to break the codes.

5 Urgent Questions about Windows 10 Answered


It’s been a month since the launch of Windows 10 with early reviews being positive. However on a particular site readers have reported everything from smooth sailing to minor issues to serious problems that have made them go back to Windows 7 or 8. These types of issues are probable with major new software. Some of the questions answered are:

1. Does Windows 10 really share Wi-Fi automatically? 

Windows 10 has features known as Wi-Fi Sense which tends to make it easy for friends and family to get on your encrypted Wi-Fi networks and they do not have to type in a password, where Microsoft tends to log them in automatically.

2. How can one tell if there are potential compatibility problems Before installing Windows 10? 

Some users are apprehensive about upgrading to Windows 10 and then find out that a critical program or piece of hardware does not work. However one can get the revelation on the potential issue prior to hitting the upgrade button. To start with one could get Windows 10 app icon in the notification tray at the bottom right corner of the screen and then right click on it and select `click the upgrade status’. On the screen that appears, click the icon with the three horizontal lines in the upper left area and from the menu which drops down, you could click on`check your PC’. The app brings up either `yea’ or `nay’ on installing Windows 10 and list some of the items on the computer which may not be totally compatible and could miss out on things, though it should give a general idea on whether an upgrade would be smooth for you or not.

3. Are there any critical features in older versions of Windows that Windows 10 does not have? 

The same is based on the definition of `critical’. Windows 10 has dropped some features which some people tend to rely on. The one which most of the people find it upsetting is Windows Media Centre. Media Centre is Windows program enabling you to watch as well as record TV using third party TV tuner cards in the computer. It is also a good way of managing and interacting with your videos, music and the other media. This can be replaced with a free program known as Kodi though it is advisable to test it prior to upgrading. There are six more features which Windows 10 has dropped.

4. Is it true one can’t refuse updates? 

Microsoft has decided that with Windows 10, all security as well as program updates would install automatically the day they are released. This is logical for security since most of the Windows users all across the globe do not install updates and thus their computer tends to get vulnerable to attack.

5. If one upgrade and does not like Windows 10 can one undo it? 

Thirty days after upgrade, one can go back to the version of Windows one has upgraded from. By going to Start>>Setting, opt for the Update & Security icon. Thereafter go to Recovery section and under `Go back to Windows 8.1 or `Go back to Windows 7’, you could click `Get Started’.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Clever Design behind Google’s OnHub Router


Google’s Wi-Fi Dubbed `OnHub”

Google has recently unveiled a new Wi-Fi router which has been dubbed `OnHub’ which tends to solve all Wi-Fi related issues and though mobile technology has made great headways in recent years, the routers that are utilised today have not made much improvements. Routers have not been particularly sensational technology, but now Google is making attempts to change it.

OnHub is invented to be easy to set up as well as to manage it with high performance and also to be able to tie together smart home accessories. The device seems like an Amazon Echo, a remarkable cylindrical tower though the two devices are unlike each other. OnHub tends to be purely a router and not a speaker or an option to access Google Now. It will probably be on sale from August 31st at a cost of $199.99.

OnHub has unique features with antenna design, smart software for enhanced performance, an associated app that can make adjusting router settings very simple than tinkering around with confused piece of hardware having blinking lights. OnHub’s main selling point tends to be that it is easy to set up as well as effortless to troubleshoot.

OnHub in the Open - Amazing Impact on Wi-Fi Performance


Speaking to Wired Trond Wuellner, Google product manager had explained that keeping OnHub out in the open and not buried on the floor has an amazing impact on the performance of Wi-Fi. It can get connected to iOS and Android phones through what seems like a clean and fashionable app that informs the owners how many devices are connected to the OnHub as well as the type of speeds they are receiving.

Google states that the router’s circular design should enable it to have better penetration through a home, with around 13 antennas inside it, the router can also automatically identify the best channel to broadcast on and comprises of support for 802.11 ac as well as 5GHz Wi-Fi. OnHub was developed in partnership with TP-LINK and according to Wired, it is said that a second router is also developing in partnership with Asus.

Google has promised to bring in new features to the OnHub over a period of time. OnHub is a kind of change from the existing router market wherein one expects most of the home routers to get firmware updates often, installing them needs a lot of effort. OnHub tends to handle it all automatically.

OnHub – Smart Home Hub


Presently, it does not seem like the router has any surprising software features, though the way Google conveys about OnHub, seems like there could be some interesting research coming up. Some of the interesting features which Google has are that OnHub tends to support Bluetooth LE and Weave, Google’s new smart home language which would ultimately enable OnHub in serving as a smart home hub.

It is likely that in that case, OnHub will be more in common with Echo. Echo which is a simple device has got Amazon into home which could expand and start offering more service and OnHub would be the same over a period of time. Presently its focus is not clear on what are its intentions of tying the devices together. The device seems to be already sold out on the Google Store though it would be difficult to weight the significance of the fact without the knowledge of how large the initial supply seemed to be.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Android Marshmallow: Google Reveals Name of Android 6.0


Google’s Android Marshmallow

Google has revealed its latest version of its operating system which was earlier known as Android M and will now be called Android Marshmallow. The tech giant usually names its operating systems after sweet treats like Jelly Bean, Lollipop and KitKat featuring in the past and hence there is speculation about what the latest release, earlier known as Android M would be called.

Jamal Eason, Android product manager had written on the Android Developers Blog - `whether you like them straight out of the bag, roasted to a golden brown exterior with a molten centre, or in fluff form, who doesn’t like marshmallows? We definitely like them’.

The announcement coincided with the release of the final developer preview update for Android Marshmallow that comprises of the official Android 6.0 software development kit and developers can also publish their app on the Google Play store for Android Marshmallow. The updated operating system that had been first unveiled at Google 1/O on 28 May 2015 is estimated to be launched to the public by the third quarter of 2015.

New Features - Doze

Google states that the Android Marshmallow is the most powerful release so far wherein the update brings in hundreds of improvements, though several of them are very incremental and will be almost invisible to most of the users.

For instance, new features by the name Doze tends to detect when the device’s motion sensor is inactive and cuts down on the level of background app activity which Google states can double the battery life of the device.

Android Marshmallow also supports a new type of USB connector known as USB-C which charges devices three to five times faster than the present microUSB chargers according to Google. The USB-C charger similar to the Apple’s Lightning connector, can be plugged either way round which will save the user from struggling in the dark in trying to plug in the charging cable.

A new permission system tend to be easy for users in deciding what information the apps on the phone could use by providing them with the opportunity to confirm or deny access in context.

Google Now Personal Assistant

For instance, if one tends to download WhatsApp on Android device, you would be asked for permission for WhatsApp to access the contacts, location, calendar, photos, camera, microphone and much more which could be very intrusive.

 In the case of Android Marshmallow, users will not be requested to grant permission at the time of download. It is only while sending voice memo, for instance that they would be asked to grant access to their microphone. Permission could also be withdrawn to access certain informationthrough a new option in the setting menu.

Owing to Android Marshmallow release, Google would be updating its Google Now personal assistant enabling users to access information anywhere on the device irrespective of what they intend to do. On holding and tapping the home button, user could put up a query without the need of leaving the app they are in and could also use Google Now on Tap in order to locate new apps and in-app content.

The Android Marshmallow update would be bringing in support for Android Pay, Google’s answer to Apple Pay that enables the user to pay for things in stores with the use of Android Smartphone.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Microsoft is Allowing Itself to Detect Pirated Games on Your Windows 10 PC


Windows 10 - Some Disapproval with Alleged Privacy Obstacles

Inspite of being generally well accepted, Windows 10 had met up with some disapproval with regards to a series of alleged privacy obstacles. The latest being the report from Microsoft’s End User License Agreement, or EULA with WinBeta that Microsoft has reserved the right to check the system for `playing fake games, or use unauthorised hardware peripheral devices’.

An operating system which tends to run an array of utilities could also be pirated and it is strange to think that Microsoft would be targeting games in its analyses. One may speculate why the company could not check for universally pirated productivity suites like Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office.

Microsoft’s Services EULA tends to be different from the one which is governing Windows (Microsoft software License Terms) which means that the amendment that Microsoft has recently added was with the intention of protecting against imitating Xbox Live and Windows Store content, but not monitoring in disabling illegal content on Windows 10.

It could probably be a case of Microsoft cracking on the modification of its Xbox games consoles, which was a popular tendency seen during the days of the original Xbox together with its successor, the Xbox 360.

Written precautions against Stolen Phones Etc. to Be Integrated

Gamers, in order to achieve this could download the software to their PCs and organise it to their consoles through an external media device.Microsoft would thus be taking steps in an effort of preventing identical instances with the Xbox One as a means of overpowering hacking tool possession.

This would be sensible since online community have been attempting to exploit the console since its launch of 2013 Nonetheless, the language utilised in the agreement has been reported to be vague in comprehending Microsoft’s intentions and one can be sure the firm’s top notch lawyers have chosen that confusing language with all intent and purpose.

It is also not clear if Microsoft had any intention of sharing with law enforcement the information they obtain with users downloading `fake games’ or if they simply plan to disable the stolen software. Similarly, Windows 10 now is used more freelyacross the platforms which include PC, mobile, Xbox, HoloLens as well as Surface Hub, EULAs tend to be assembled more largely.Written precautions against stolen phones, Xbox mods, enterprise security as well as required updates should now be integrated.

Time to Acknowledge The Concern

The pervasiveness of Windows 10 is getting with it not only technical encounters but legal challenges as well in producing a single comprehensible agreement. Though Microsoft’s stand against fake games is understandable considering the rampant video game piracy, the definition of what establishes as unauthorized hardware does not seem to be clear.

Moreover the wording does not reveal whether the ability to automatically disable counterfeit software would be limited to games or would it be extended to other software like Microsoft’s own Office platform and Adobe Creative cloud suit, both of which are prone to piracy Returning to basics with Windows 10, Microsoft has been pleasing its customers, old and new. However, it’s time to acknowledge the concern prevailing on what Microsoft intends to do with the data it obtains.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Robots Learn to Evolve and Improve


A team of engineers at University of Cambridge has developed new age robotic system, which possesses the capability to independently build and improve its offsprings. This robotic system has surprised everyone with its ability to evolve with times and improve its performance in much effective manner. A robotic arm essentially helps in developing the offsprings or babies, which get better with passing iteration. The ultimate of this research as published in the journal PLOS One states to develop robots which can adapt to their surroundings.

How offsrpings are created by the robot? 

In the experiments carried out by the engineers, a mother robot is entrusted with the task of designing, building and testing ten generation of offspring robots. The baby robots during the experiment consist of plastic cubes fitted with motor inside. The baby robots are assembled by a mother robot arm which craftily gules them together in different configures as per its own choice. Though this system might appear very simple but it is a rigorous exercise in itself.

It is left at the discretion of the mother robot to assess how much mobility will be given to the babies. Baby robots don’t require any human intervention in their movement and the design improves considerably with each new iteration. Mother robot has been able successfully build ten generations of children with improved movement capability. The final iteration or version of baby robot was able to move distance twice the distance of the first one.

Evolving qualities are at par with living beings 

This research was conducted with an aim of gaining new insights about how the living things evolve. Biology had long tried to find the answer to the emergence of intelligence in the living organisms with the use of theory of evolution. The researchers at Cambridge University are trying to explore the same ministry through the use of robotic system. A lead researcher had stated that most of the time people think that robots are developed to perform repetitive task with increased efficiency. In short, robots are typically designed as an aid in mass production but no effort is made at bringing mass customization. But researchers here tried to see whether robots are capable of possessing innovation and creativity or not.

The future prospects of this new age robotic system 

Researchers had not meaninglessly conducted their experiment to just see the evolving and adapting capability of the robotic system. But they also ensured that these robots fit into working on projects with the help of enhanced capabilities. An application of this system can be seen by employing the robots in car manufacturing units where they easily pick out the defects in the cars and fix them. In agricultural field, robots can be used to find out new and different ways of harvesting in order to improve the yields.

Google, Samsung to Issue Monthly Android Security Fixes


Google/Samsung to Release Monthly Security Fixes

Google Inc. as well as Samsung Electronics Co will be releasing monthly security fixes for Android phones due to the increasing target for hackers after the revelation of a bug that was designed to attack the world’s most known mobile operating system.

 This change came up after Joshua Drake, a security researcher exposed Stagefright hacking software which enables attackers to send special multimedia message to Android phone and to get hold of sensitive content even if the message is not opened. Adrian Ludwig, Android security chief had commented at the weeks’ annual Black

Hat security conference in Las Vegas, that `they had realized that there was a need to move faster’. Earlier Google had developed a patch and had distributed it to its own Nexus phones after getting to know about the security flaws but other manufacturers would wait till they wanted to update the software for various reasons before making a fix, exposing several of the over 1 billion Android users to probable hacks as well as scam till the fix. Ludwig has informed that Google has also made other security changes.

Google – Regular Weekly Security Scans of Russian Phones

He had informed Reuters, in an interview that earlier this year, the team had broken out occurrence rate of malicious software by language and the rate of Russian language Androids with possibly harmful programs seems to have spiked suddenly to around 9% in late 2014.

Google had made its weekly security scans of Russian phones more regular and was capable of reducing the problem, close to the global standard. Ludwig had also mentioned that improvements to the recent versions of Android would also limit an attacks’ efficiency in more than nine out of ten phones. However, Drake informed that the attacker could keep on trying till the ploy tends to work.

 He also said that he would be releasing a code for the attack by August 24, and put pressure on the manufacturers in order to get their patches out before then. Ludwig has said that the Nexus phones are being updated with protection and most of the major Android handset makers will be following suit.

Stolen Files – Hacking Team Indicated Key Avenue

Rick Segal, Vice President of Samsung,had agreed that his company could not compel the telecommunication carriers who purchase its devices in bulk to install the fixes and some would probably only do so for higher-end users.

Segal had mentioned in an interview that `if it is your business customers, you will push it’. Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of Android phones. Ludwig also stated that several Android security worries were overblown and added that only about one in 200 Android phones Google could peer into have any possibly harmful applications installed at any point.

Drake had also observed that those figures had excluded some products which included Fire products from Amazon that utilise Android. In the case of Apple’s iPhones, the main security risk comes with apps which have not been downloaded from the official online stores of the two companies

The files stolen from Hacking Team – an Italian Company that sold eavesdropped tools to government agencies across the globe, indicated a key avenue which was intended to convince targets to download legitimate seeming Android as well as iPhone apps from fraud sites

Google's Modular Ara Phone Delayed


Google’s Project Ara Delayed – 2016

Google has delayed its plan in releasing its modular smartphone concept, codenamed `Project Ara’ hardware till sometime in 2016. The Ara team had tweeted a messaging confirming the delay and shift away from plans to test the modular phone project, later this year, in Puerto Rico. However Google had been quick to note that it is in the process of exploring few locations in the US for Ara.

The explanation for the change by Google recommends that the team had been working hard in making Ara a reality. The team had told followers in a sequence of tweets,that `Project Ara is not going anywhere’, but had been set back by `lots of iteration, more than we thought’. Project Ara enables users to swap out as well as upgrade the core components of smartphone namely processor, camera etc. independently instead of replacing the complete device.

It portrayed a dramatic rethinking of the device and those attending the Google I/O were pleased when the working prototype was showed on stage in May by the company. The development of the product seems to be longer than expected but Google had earlier aimed to have between 20 and 30 Ara modules made available for the now scrapped Puerto Rico trial.

Components Can be Added/Taken Away

Project Ara seems to be Google’s interesting efforts in developing a smartphone which comes in bits, which means that certain components could be added or taken away without the requirements of complex alterations to the device. It would also be less costly to replace smashed screens or worn batteries as well as enable others to develop modified hardware for a particular task.

San Francisco based designer Garrett Kinsman while writing on a forum for developers who were interested in working on Project Ara, had said that he felt a sense of overwhelming sadness at the delay. The Project Ara team had announced at the beginning of this year that it would launch the modular smartphones this year in Puerto Rico as a part of its pilot program.

But the team has now confirmed that its phone will not launch till 2016 along with the announcement of pilot market re-route to a few locations in the US instead of Puerto Rico.

DIY Smartphone

The company has not yet revealed any particular location in the US where it intends launching modular phones. In a tweet, it said, `when? 2016’, followed by the hastags yes we are late and Project Ara - #yeswearelate and #ProjectAra.Project Ara further clarifies that the re-routing does not seem to mean that there would be no modular phone launched in Puerto Rico. It stated that `and this is not goodbye Puerto Rico’. The project expects to kick-start an era of do-it-yourself smartphones which Google has been stressing that it is not targeting weeds.

Google had showcased its Spiral 2 modular smartphone prototype in January Project Ara Spiral 2 prototypek had a HD – 720x1280 pixels screen, choice of Nvidia Tegra K1 or Marvel PX1928 processor, 5-megapixel primary camera, battery, Micro-USB port, speaker as well as connectivity options which included Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G. The Spiral 2 prototype comprised of 11 working modules inclusive of 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Receiver with light as well as proximity sensors, USB charger module and a 2x2 battery module. Spiral 3 also tends to feature the electro permanent magnets in the exoskeleton, thereby saving space in the modules.

The Myths Surrounding Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing
The strange thing about cloud computing is that there are so many misconceptions surrounding this technology. Many businesses seem to be sceptical about it; perhaps because it’s a relatively new option. However, it is speedily growing in popularity over time. Let’s try to debunk some of the pesky, stubborn myths that are still hanging around cloud computing.

Data Isn’t Secure On The Cloud

In every company, security is paramount. Many people seem to assume that data kept on the cloud is vulnerable. In fact, it makes more sense that opting to go without the cloud system is more likely to lead to data breaches. Whether that’s through theft or natural disasters, or broken or stolen hardware with files on can’t be replaced, your data is at risk. If it’s on the cloud, you can still access your information, no matter what happens, and it’s all password protected.

Cloud Computing Costs Jobs

Cloud computing has actually created thousands of jobs! Yes, it will lower the amount of IT personnel you might need for your company, but it creates vacancies in other businesses that provide cloud computing services. It just means that it’s not coming out of your pocket!

Cloud Migration Is Too Much Trouble

The problem with change is that many people are resistant to it and they are easily convinced that it will be more trouble than it’s worth. In fact, moving across to cloud computing is extremely easy, needs very little training, and will be migrated before you know it. You will also have a support team on-hand to walk you through any confusing aspects, but it really will be self-explanatory. It’s certainly worth the effort.

Not For Mission-Critical Use

Although some companies consider cloud computing for simple processes, many decide not to use it for documents that are highly critical. This goes back to the myth before about the cloud not being safe enough to trust. As we’ve already discussed, this isn’t the case at all, and many companies run solely from the cloud.

There Aren’t Many Cloud Options

Many people seem to think that the cloud is somehow still in its infancy, meaning that there are few options for cloud packages and companies. This is not true at all. In fact, it seems like everyone and their mother has cloud software. You will be able to easily find something that will suit your business, so don’t worry! The Dell virtual client is a great package, making it a great place to start.

You Have To Use Just The One Cloud System

You can actually mix and match as much as you like. This may not be a great idea for your business, if you like everything in one place, but the option is always there. Maybe you’d rather use a cheaper system for certain departments, and something a bit more expensive for the more sensitive documents that need extra protection.

What do you find is a common misconception about cloud computing? Let us know in the comments.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mozilla Gripes at Microsoft for Giving Edge and Edge


Mozilla’s Request to Microsoft - Easier Method of Browser Preference for Windows 10

Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla recently published an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, calling on him to provide Windows 10 users with an easier method of setting their browser preference. Beard considered the lack of options in the Windows 10 experience as `very disturbing’ and seemed to be designed to supersede the preference of the user for apps and browser, compelling them in an experience which Microsoft wants them to have rather than the one they would prefer.

Carly Olsen, Microsoft spokesperson had informed that they had designed Windows 10 in order to provide a simple upgrade experience for users as well as an organized experience following the upgrade. Users who tend to upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows 10 with the express setup would have the new Edge browser set as their default.

She informed  that `during the upgrade, consumers will have the choice of setting defaults, including for Web browsing and following the upgrade, they could easily choose the default browser of their choice. Recently, Windows 10 was made available as a free download for Windows 7 and 8 users and has been downloaded more than 14 million times so far.

With Update, Some Programs Not Compatible

With each update of operating systems, users would probably observe that some of the programs may not be compatible. When the earlier versions of Windows were introduced, there have been several complaints over various issues. Beard requested that Mozilla make attempts to work with Microsoft to make sure that the users of Firefox would not come across any problems, but failed to do so.Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT had stated that `it seems fairly easy (to keep Firefox), especially since upgrading to Windows 10 does not uninstall third party apps, including browsers’.

He informed  that `users who tend to use Firefox, Chrome or others as their default browsers would have to undergo a manual process like the one in Windows 8. Besides updating the operating system, Windows 10 also seems to be replacing the long-running Internet Explorer with Edge, a browser which Microsoft claims to be faster, lighter as well as more modern than IE. Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics had commented that considering the 73% or roughly three quarters of Internet users do not seem to be using Internet Explorer, it is a minor inconvenience or an annoyance’.

Nefarious Move by Microsoft

He further informed, that Microsoft’s position in the browser world seems to be a mere shadow of its former dominance. Beard suggested that Microsoft intentionally limited consumer choice to give itself an unfair advantage. According to Entner, he states that `people are seeing this as a nefarious move by Microsoft, though it could be the other way round. He remarked that `it could give people an opportunity to experience Edge, but Mozilla does not want them to try’.

King noted that the `previous versions of Windows had positioned IE as the default browser and if one wanted something different, they had to make it happen. Besides altering the process for choosing the default browser, Microsoft is doing what it had done for several years. Twenty years back in the summer of 1995, Microsoft had taken similar stand in using its newly launched Windows 95 to gain market share with IE that was closely tied to the OS. It is doubtful that Windows 10 and the Edge browser would activate a replay. There is even a possibility that Microsoft would not enjoy any advantage.

Could We Fly From London to New York in an Hour?

Airbus Patent – Hypersonic Passenger Plane

A patent has been won by Airbus for hypersonic passenger plane that would possibly fly from London to New York within an hour. Named as Concord 2.0, it would be capable of flying for more than four times the speed of the sound. The documents that were lodged with the US Patent Office mention an `ultra-rapid air vehicle and related method for aerial locomotion’.

 As per the documents the jet is said to reach speeds as great as Mach 4.5 or four and a half times the speed of sound which compares to Mach 2 for Concorde. The patent application also states that the aeroplane would be utilising various engines which would be serving different purposes and power would be coming from hydrogen that is stored on-board.

Besides this, two turbojets beneath the fuselage and a rocket motor in the rear would be utilised at the time of take-off and would lift off vertically similar to a Space Shuttle. Once it is launched,. The turbojets would be shut down as well as retracted where the rocket motor would then kick in to ascend towards an altitude of over 100,000 feet.

Private Jet with 20 Passengers

Thereafter ramjets, which are usually used in missiles, would be kindled and the flight would reach a top speed of Mach 4.5.A website – PatentYogi, which has been dedicated in explaining patent ideas, had informed that the flight path of the jet would be making it the `highest rollercoaster ride in the world’.

Moreover, the jet would be with hammock like seats for passengers for sitting, necessary if they preferred to travel in comfort. Travellers would not have to share the cabin with others. The patent application has described it as more of a private jet with 20 passengers on-board at a time. This notion would also not be limited to commercial flight wherein, in the patent, Airbus has also listed military applications for the jet.

 In 2003, the iconic Concorde had been taken out of service due to high operating costs. The supersonic jet faced complaints with regards to the sonic booms as well as noise pollution developed by its four turbojet engines, in 1970.

Designs Reverberates Curves of Concorde

The outcome of it was that it was banned from operating over land and was never capable of becoming financially feasible. On the contrary, it operated as a high-altitude transatlantic taxi service for the wealthy.

The issue of sonic booms has been addressed in the patent application for the new jet. By ascending vertically, the latest design’s sonic boom would be degenerated in all directions and will not reach the ground. Besides this, the design has reverberates of the curves of Concorde which has been described as a `gothic delta wing’.

Airbus had been playing down the patents stating in a statement that the designs had been based on `concepts and ideas in a very promising stage of conceptualisation’ and the idea had first been published in 2011. It is only now that it has started being revealed since it had won approval from the US Patent Office.

Earlier, Airbus, known as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company – EADS had said that it would take 30 to 40 years, if at all to enter service. Airbus had made a mention that it would be working on two hypersonic projects one being with Japanese partners while the other with Russian and Australian involvement for the purpose of conquering speeds up to Mach 6.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Spyware Demo Shows How Spooks Hack Mobile Phones


Secretive Techniques to Spy Mobile Devices

Generally Intelligence agencies seldom make it public, their secretive techniques for spying on mobile phones but a UK security firm has portrayed to BBC, how a tool which is sold around the world spies and actually functions.

It enables spies to take secret images through the phone’s camera as well as record the conversations with the microphone without the owner being aware of it. The software of Hacking Team had been recently pilfered from the company by hackers and published across the web where almost any type of data on a phone, PC or a tablet could be accessed through the tool which is amazing on how much it can do.

When the source code for the program had been dumped online by the hackers, Joe Greenwood, of cybersecurity firm 4Armed, who had seen it, could not refrain from experimenting it. Though he had to work with the code in order to make it work, it took him a day before he could make it run.

The software comprises of the surveillance console displaying data retrieved from a hacked device together with malware implanted on the target device itself. The cybersecurity firm had been cautious to note that utilising it to spy on someone without their permission would be violating the law.

In-Built Features to Track Bitcoin Payments

Mr Greenwood, on testing the software on his own PC, observed the scope of its potentials. He informed BBC that one could download files, record microphones, webcam images, websites that were visited, check what programs were running as well as intercept Skype calls.

Besides these, the software also had some in-built features to track Bitcoin payments which could be difficult to connect with individuals without extra data on when and how the transaction could have been performed. He also showed a live demonstration of the system on how an infected phone could be made to record audio from the microphone even though the device seemed to be locked and utilise the phone’s camera without the knowledge of the owner.

He informed that photos could actually be taken without them knowing and the camera in the background tends to be running, taking photos every number of seconds. There is also the possibility of listening in on phone calls, access the list of contacts that were stored on the device as well as track what websites the user of the device had visited.

Indication of Message Sent Somewhere -A Red Flag Spike in Network Data Usage

Marc Wickenden, technical director of 4Armed as well as Mr Greenwood had stated that they were shocked by the sleekness of the interface and pointed out that though customers would be paying up £1m for the software and expecting it to be user-friendly especially if it is intended for usage by law enforcers.

As for the tracked user, there are few ways of discovering that they are being watched. According to Mr Greenwood, a red flag, is a sudden spike in the network data usage indicating that information is being sent somewhere in the background and experienced intruders would however, be cautious in minimising this to remain undercover.

Currently spy software of this type is only likely to be arrayed secretly on the phones and computers of those who seem to be key targets for intelligence agency.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Britain Set to Build Incredible Experimental Motorway Which Charges Up Electric Cars as They Move

Britain is all set to test the new electric highways technology, which promises to power up electric cars on the go. The world is looking for new smart ways of lowering the reliance of conventional sources of energy, which ends up damaging the environment with increased CO2 output. Electric and hybrid cars had been in fashion for quite some time but it couldn’t generate wider scale adoption due to various factors. With the introduction of electric highways in England later this year people can give a serious thought over the environment friendly electric and hybrid cars.

Off roads trials soon to begin in England

Highways England will be undertaking the off road trials of this new technology which can easily the power the electric and hybrid vehicles. The trials are said to be first of its kind, which will test this technology potential. It will also test the safety quotient along with its effectiveness on country’s major motor ways and major A roads. Such roads will allow the people driving the ultra low emission vehicles over to a long distance without the hassle of stopping by and charging the car’s battery.

How this technology works?

During the off road trials electric and hybrid engine vehicles will be fitted with wireless charging capabilities and it will be charged by equipment built underneath the road surface. When such vehicles ply the road, they will be able charge wirelessly without the need of stopping and charging the vehicles at all. If this trial happens to be successful then this advanced electric highway technology will be brought on major motorways and major A roads throughout the country.

Highways England chief engineer, Mike Wilson was quite upbeat about this technology and stated that in order to keep pace with the advancing vehicle technologies and to support growth of ultra low emissions vehicles this technology will be utilized to its full potential. The wireless power technology will certainly help in creating sustainable road networks in England. It is also expected to open up new opportunities for businesses, which deal in transporting the goods within the country. In short Highways England is committed to bring this technology on a wider scale if happens to be successful.

Government support likely to spurt up the electric highway technology

Government has shown immense faith in this new technology and it has already committed to offer 500 million pounds over the next five years. This money will be utilized to bring wide scale adoption of this technology, which will help, in boosting the jobs and growth across the various sectors. Transport minister Andrew Jones emphasizes the potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move, which is a great advancement in itself, and it offers far more exciting possibilities.

Making the low emission vehicles accessible to a greater number of families and businesses will become easier with the electric highways. It should be noted that at present more than 35000 electric cars registered in the UK. Apart from these trials, Highways England is also committed to install plug-in charging points for electrics after 20 miles on the motorways network.

Samsung Looks to Get a Head Start On Apple with Its Next Jumbo Smartphone


Samsung had long been the top Smartphone maker which had the highest market coverage over the years with its flagship Galaxy S models. But Apple slowly and surely crept on and finally seized the top Smartphone coverage by sharing it with Samsung this year. Samsung is hoping to make considerable leap in the market by launching its new jumbo sized hybrid between Smartphone and tablets ahead of Apple.

Samsung is set to release the new entrant in Galaxy Note and Galaxy S flagship with Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus. Galaxy Note 5 will possess a metal black body instead of the plastic along with a hugely improved stylus. On other Galaxy S6 Edge Plus will feature a 5.7 inch screen which curves over the sides of the device.

Samsung quietly shifts the launch date

Samsung for a long time had kept introducing its Smartphone at the Berlin based IFA electronic in September but this time it’s releasing much earlier than expected. The reason for releasing the new devices ahead of schedule in its New York is attempt to counter the release of Apple’s next iPhone, which will be unveiled in early September.

The next iPhones will possess bigger screen, which is creating pressure upon Samsung to get into market earlier with its bigger devices and dominate over the market with boosting of sales. In simple words Samsung is saying its customers to look out for its devices to buy this time around. Samsung Note line will be launching ahead of the bigger screen iPhone for the first time in the market with the release of next iPhone in the September 9 event.

Apple goes the bigger way

Apple devices were usually happened to be smaller in size but great in performance. However, Apple even jumped into bigger screen by introducing new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which took away the shine and advantage from the Samsung devices. Going with bigger screen helped Apple churning out immense sales with 47.5 million devices sold in just June quarter, which is 35% hike against the previous year stats.

With bigger screen iPhones Apple made its entry into the phablet business with pomp and success. It should be noted that 13% of Smartphone sold in US in the second quarter were devices with 5.5 inch screen or larger. Apple is on the verge of quickly dominated in the Phablet market which was once dominated by the Samsung Note and Galaxy devices.

Samsung rise up to the challenge

Samsung had made significant changes in its Note line by bringing hardware redesign to lend a more premium feel to the device and divert them from the Apple devices. Though Samsung had not much change to its Galaxy S Smartphone over the years and this time they had introduced much talked curved screen. In order to compete in the highly competitive Smartphone market it is necessary for the Samsung to create buzz among the consumers and get them excited about its Smartphones, otherwise it will be extremely tough to challenge the rise of other Smartphone maker and most importantly Apple.

Hackers Target Internet Address Bug to Disrupt Sites


Hackers Manipulating Internet Architecture

According to a security firm, it is said that hackers are manipulating a serious flaw in the internet’s architecture wherein the bug seems to target systems that tend to convert domain names into IP addresses. Taking advantage of it could impend the smooth function of the internet services since it would permit hackers to launch denial-of-service attacks on websites, possibly forcing them offline and regular internet users would unlikely be severely affected.

Bind seems to be the name of a variety of Domain Name System – DNS software which is used on most of the internet servers. The most recently discovered bug enables attackers to crash the software thus taking the DNS service offline and stopping URLs for instance, from functioning. Patch for the fault is made available, though several systems need to be updated.

 The ISC – Internet Systems Consortium that had developed Bind had mentioned in a tweet that the vulnerability was `particularly critical’ and `easily exploited’. Last week ISC had release a patch for serious vulnerability in BIND, one of the popular Domain Name Servers which is bundled with Linux.The flaw that affects versions of BIND 9 from BIND 9.1.0 to BIND 9.10.2-P2.

Fault in Handling TKEY Queries

It could be exploited to crash the DNS servers running the software followed by a DoS attach. Red Hat, Ubuntu, CentOS as well as Debian have all been affected with the bug and so patching is straightforward, update or apt-get update, whichever is suitable to the environment together with a DNS server restart.

 A networking expert at Sucuri, Daniel Cid, had published a blog post stating the vulnerability wherein he had clarified that the real exploits taking advantage of the fault had already taken place, based on the reports received from the customers of the company, that they were facing DNS server crashes. He also informed BBC that a few of the clients in various industries had their DNS servers crashed due to it.

He further added that due to their experience, server software such as Bind, Apache, OpenSSL and the others did not get patched as often as they should. According to a report in The Register, CVE-2015-5477, last week, there is a fault in handling TKEY queries, like a constructed packet could use the defect in triggering a REQUIRE assertion failure, which could cause BIND to exit. Cid informs that it is also trivial to check if the DNS server is being targeted.

Large DNS Exploits Take Down Hunks of Internet

One could look for the ANY TKEY in the DNS logs with querylog enabled since TKEY request seems to be `not very common’ and should be easy to notice suspicious requests. Brian Honan, cybersecurity expert, had commented that a spike in exploits of the fault was expected in the next few days.

He further added that the websites would frequently be accessible through other routes and cache addresses on DNS servers all over the world even though certain key DNS servers have been made to crash. He stated that `it is not a doomsday scenario but a question of ensuring that the DNS structure could continue to work while patches tend to be rolled out.

According to Mr Cid, the impact on general users is probably to be minimal and the average internet users will not experience much pain besides a few sites and email servers down. A large DNS exploit could take down hunks of the internet.