Friday, 15 December 2017

Horrifying macOS Bug Lets Anyone Become Admin With No Password

macOS Bug

New bug found on macOS giving Admin Access to anyone without password input

All the users with a Mac should note that a new bug has been discovered on the latest version of macOS High Sierra. This particular bug can jeopardise your security as it allows anyone to get into the system that also as an administrator by simply typing ‘root’ in the username section. This bug is so dangerous after giving up the name as ‘root’ users are not even required to put in the password.
 

Taking the Twitter by storm

 
This dangerous bug has been found by a software engineer going by the name Lemi Orhanm Ergin. He claimed that this bug has the ability to grant admin access to anyone of any mac system within few seconds. The most horrifying thing about this bug is that it even allows anyone to login to the system just after the reboot. He described his finding in a series of tweets which were picked by a number of tech enthusiasts and soon the Twitter was flooded within huge number of users replicating the acts of the bugs.

It became apparently clear to millions of macOs High Sierra users that simply typing the ‘root’ in the username will help in bypassing the Apple security in no time. Some of the experts had stated that this bug is eerily similar to the Apple’s very own ‘root user’ login feature. It seems like this bug is actively making use of this feature which happens to enabled by default on the macOS. If you are whether your system is affected by this bug or then check your macOS by giving a click on the Apple logo present on the left top left corner of the screen. Now select the option “About this Mac” to know your device macOS version.
 

Bringing updates in quick time intervals

 
Apple has claimed that its macOS is simply the most secure operating system in the world but that doesn’t mean it is free of bugs. Apple is known to offers patches and fixes as quickly as possible which isn’t the case with other operating systems where users have to wait for months to get the incremental updates.

Just a few weeks ago Apple brought a massive supplemental update for the macOS High Sierra which helped in fixing a wide range of bugs along with improving the installer robustness and along with other issues. Some of the major issues resolved with this update include the fixing of the graphical problem associated with Adobe InDesign and issue related to addressed in the Yahoo accounts.

Apple has been quick at coming up with the fix as well this time around. Apple has even issued a statement where it stated that security is always been a top priority for every Apple product. It even clarified that the Apple engineers have found this issue in the Tuesday afternoon and they had started immediately working on patching up the security hole.

Now this big has been squashed in the macOS High Sierra for good and it shows why a huge number of are fan of the Apple products.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Paper Signals: Cute Voice Experiment Lets You Track World

Google experiment allows the construction of interactive paper signals

Have you ever thought about building your own functional and interactive speech recognition device? Know that Google is turning this unlikely possibility into reality. And most interesting of all, the objects are practically all made out of paper which is called as interactive paper signals. Google surprises us from time to time with very curious experiments demonstrating that technology can be used in very different ways and without the need for many resources. A recent example: cardboard glasses for virtual reality. Now they surprise us with a nice application to take advantage of Google Assistant.

This is an experiment of the company that besides having a rather unusual proposal, visually it is quite curious. They are paper structures that respond physically to voice commands. Paper Signals is a kit that allows us to make paper cutouts, connect them to Adafruit and move them when we do a specific search through Assistant. For example, we can create an umbrella-shaped one that opens when we ask if it's going to rain, a rocket that takes off when NASA launches a real one or see if there are variations in the Bitcoin's price.



Among the possibilities of utensils that can be built we have a weather alert, timer, signal for pauses, alert for low or high Bitcoin, or even a warning that shows when NASA is launching a rocket into space. All paper signals can be checked in the video below.

For the assembly of the paper signals it is necessary the Paper Signals starter kit, which includes an Adafruit plate, all necessary cables and the servo motor that gives life to the structures. Added to that, there will also be a need for a device that has access to Google Assistant - it has gained a function to find services like plumber and electrician recently - a printer and a lot of patience.

This is a great design to pass the time and have fun with the montage. We cannot fail to mention that Google kept the experiment code open, meaning anyone can create any kind of wizard. Do you have any favorite Paper Signals? Do not stop commenting.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Samsung: Graphene Balls Boost Battery Charging Speed by 500 Percent

Graphene

Graphene Balls to Charge your phone Faster

Have you ever stepped out of your house and then realized that your phone is dead and charging could mean another hour or so when you don’t really have the time? Well, all that is going to change with Samsung’s 12 minute charge time. I don’t mean 12 minutes for just a bit of charge either but a full charge cycle.

In smartphones, a number of hardware has undergone changes to not only make the phone more efficient but also to make it more capable. But one of the things that has taken a backseat or which has not developed at the same rate, is the battery used in these smartphones.
 

How can a phone get a full charge in 12 minutes with Graphene balls?

 
Previously, or even now, smart phones had/have lithium-ion batteries. With today’s smartphones doing more than before, they also take up a lot of juice and this requires a lot of charge as well as the time it takes also increases.

Researchers have been looking for alternatives to these lithium-ion batteries but nothing seems to be promising until now.

A new study by Samsung has found, Graphene balls which is supposed to increase battery capacity by 45% and what is the greatest yet- it can increase charging time by a whopping 500%.
 

Why are Graphene Balls so great?

 
Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology or SAIT for short, has discovered this novel method of charging. But coming to the question of why are Graphene balls so great?

The answer is simple, with Graphene balls, the batteries not only have a higher capacity but also a faster charge time than ever before. Earlier, other solutions could either have a higher capacity or a faster charge time but not both.

Getting the ingredients for these graphene ball batteries is neither expensive nor difficult to find and another major advantage is that Samsung can incorporate Graphene balls into the batteries without majorly altering its manufacturing Equipment which otherwise could have been an expensive venture. So it means that the battery will still be able to give its best and at, hopefully a reasonable price for customers.
 

More about Graphene balls…

 
Graphene is a highly advanced substance which is a hexagonal lattice of carbon. SAIT used this lattice structure to create a Graphene ball with the help of silica. These Graphene balls will be located as a protective layer on the cathode and anode ends of the battery. The location is also deliberate as this point allows for greater charging capacity and faster speeds.

With the Graphene balls high stability, ability to act as a semi- conductor and its good thermal conductivity, it is proving to be a really good substitute for those lithium-ion batteries.

Everyone remembers the note 7 fiasco; this time around Samsung is taking no chances with the graphene balls. The graphene balls will allow the battery to charge without getting too hot.

When I’m talking increased capacity with the graphene balls, I mean a tablet’s worth of charging capacity that is 5000-6000mAh at a charge time of a mere 12 minutes.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Santa’s Village is Back in Business

Santa’s Village

Santa-Tracker: Google's Interactive Advent Calendar is Back

Google has built the Santa's Village and now The Santa Tracker is back: As every year, Google has again gathered a series of entertaining games in Santa's Village an interactive Advent calendar. This time kids can even program visually.
 

Santa-Tracker: From a misprint in 1955 into the Internet age

 
This Santa's Village has a long tradition at Google. Already in 2004, the search engine showed for the first time children on Google Maps the supposed course of Santa's journey from Santa's Village on Christmas Eve. The tradition is actually much older and was long before Google or the Internet. In fact, the Santa Tracker was created by a misprint in 1955.

At that time, the US mail order company Sears printed an advertisement that asked children to call Santa Claus from Santa's Village. However, instead of connecting to Sears, the number led to the North American Air and Space Defense Command (NORAD). In order not to disappoint the calling children, the local soldiers were ordered to give them the alleged position of Santa Claus. This is how a tradition emerged that, in cooperation with Google, spilled over into the Internet from 2004 onwards and it created Santa's Village.

In 2012, however, NORAD decided to monitor Santa Claus no longer with Google but with Microsoft's help. Obviously, after eight years, the search giant did not want to break with tradition anymore, so there are now two Santa trackers: Santa from Santa's Village created by Google and the original NORAD.
 
Google's Santa Tracker 2017: This year too with Coding Games
 
Google's Santa from Santa's Village has long been more than a preparation for Santa's fictive itinerary. It's now an interactive Advent calendar, featuring a range of Christmas games and informational materials. Kids learn, for example, how the Christmas traditions in different countries of the world look like.

In this beautiful Santa's Village, we particularly like the Coding game available since December 2nd. Here children have to program a virtual plotter so that a snowflake comes out of it. This is done using a visual programming language modeled on Scratch. This Santa's Village from Google is available as in previous years as a website and Android app.
 
The original: Santa Tracker by NORAD supports Alexa and Cortana
 
NORAD's original Santa tracker will also be available again in 2017. Here, too, children can learn about Christmas celebrations from all over the world. There are also different games. Unlike Google, however, the NORAD site makes no effort to deduce the desired language from your source. Children therefore have to manually switch to the various languages via a drop-down menu.

Interestingly, the Santa Tracker makers have not overslept the current hype about voice-controlled assistance systems. On Dec. 24th, according to the creators, you can ask Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana where Santa is currently in, and then get an answer from Santa's tracker.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

What is KRACK Hack vulnerability

KRACK Hack

What is Krack

Krack is said to be an abbreviation for Key reinstallation attack which tends to involve an attacker utilising a one-time key which has been provided to the device of a client intending to connect to Wi-Fi network.

According to KU Leuven’s Mathy Vanhoef the researcher who discovered the vulnerability, his discoveries had been reported by tech site Ars Technica recently. He states that in some of the instances, hackers tend to exploit Krack in order to inject malware like ransomware in websites.

Vanhoef, informs that on doing so, the hacker has the potential to decrypt information which has been swapped from the access point with the client device wherein the personal details such as credit card numbers, together with messages and password can be exposed. It is here that the process of the hack can take place as described on the website of Vanhoef.

This latest discovered vulnerability can permit attackers to seize sensitive data which is transmitted between Wi-Fi access point and a computer or a mobile device which can be encrypted. This error is known as Krack that affects WPA2 which is a security protocol extensively utilised in the up-to-date Wi-Fi devices.
 

Four-Way Process Handshake

 
When a device tends to connect with a protected Wi-Fi network, there is a four-way process handshake for Krack , which occurs wherein this handshake warrants that both the client and the access point have the precise login authorisations for the network.

This tends to generate a new encryption key in order to protect web traffic wherein the encryption key is installed at step three of the four-way handshake. However the access point at times tends to resend the same key if it considers that the message could have been misplaced.

 Research of Vanhoef has discovered that the attackers could force the access point in order to install the identical encryption key which the intruder could utilise to attack the encryption protocol and decrypt the data. Vanhoef cautions that any device that seems to support Wi-Fi could probably be affected by Krack though Linux-based devices together with Android devices running version 6.0 or higher of the Android operating system are likely to be in danger. Presently it would comprise of over 40% of Android devices.

 

Update Wi-Fi Devices

 
Proof of the concept had been displayed by Vanhoef portraying how exploitation utilising the Krack technique was possible. He cautioned on his website that he was not in a position to determine if such attacks had been actively utilised.

Vanhoef also mentioned that in order to protect the user from Krack attacked, it was essential to update Wi-Fi devices such as the smartphones, laptops and tablets no sooner the updates are made available. Users are also cautioned to update their firmware of router. A security update addressing the issue had also been released by Microsoft according to the reports of The Verge.

Wi-Fi Alliance which is a network of companies making Wi-Fi devices, defining Wi-Fi standards and programs had informed that platform providers have begun organizing patches for the purpose of addressing the problem.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Beetles Backpacks Earthquake Detect Trapped Humans

Beetles Backpacks

New age real beetles equipped with backups set to boost disaster management efforts

Scientists were looking for new way to boost the disaster management efforts on the global scale by bringing the world’s first smallest disaster management squad. The look of the beetles is very much similar to wearing backpack but it does have a number of unique features. These beetles have the ability to detect the carbon dioxide within the collapsed building and they controlled remotely using the tiny packs fitted right on their back. The carbon dioxide being released by the people trapped inside the buildings and other places will help in getting them detected by these beetles and rescue efforts will be centered round getting them safely and soundly fast.

 

Saving lives by detecting carbon dioxide

 
Scientists are immensely hopeful that these beetles will be sent in areas which have suffered from earthquakes, hurricanes and other disaster to boost the rescue efforts. The detectors placed on the beetles will help the people controlling the beetles to locate the life in the rubble. These beetles will be able to find whoever or whatever is generating carbon dioxide and could help in lessening the time usually lost in finding the victims after disaster events. Secondly it will also remove the need of digging up areas in hope of finding people alive rather focusing on concentrating on such areas from where carbon dioxide is being generated and there is more likelihood of finding the trapped person or persons.
 

The team behind this new age technology

 
These new age cyborg beetles have been developed by a group of scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The lead scientist on this research has asserted that these beetles will help in locating, finding and detecting the survivors buried below the debris and rubles quickly than any other technology present at hand. It will also help in combing a wide or large area within the shortest amount of time to get to the survivors as quickly as possible. The small size and some tool used in the development of the cyborg beetles makes them more suitable to get through the small spaces with much agility.



Scientists had made use of the darkling beetles and their backs are fitted with the tiny computer with the use of simple beeswax. The computer is used by the beetle handler to send electrical pulses to the beetle which is received by its antenna and helps in steering them on the right month. Beetles makes use of the temperature and heartbeat vibration apart from the carbon dioxide generation in order to detect survivors.

A number of critics have emerged who are actively against the use of the beetles for the rescue efforts. They believe that putting a tiny computer on the back of the beetles and steering them to detect and fin survivors is nothing less than animal torture. They are asking the scientists to make use of the mechanical robots rather than real beetles. Scientists has stated that they had taken good care of the beetles and when they are not being controlled then are living their normal lives.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Google Can Tell If Someone is Looking at Your Phone over Your Shoulder

Android 8.1
Android 8.1 is all set to make its debut in December of this year. While the Beta version of the OS is already out, android is bringing out an update to 8.1 Users are encouraged to get the update onto their beta versions or in case of no beta version, they will be able to get the update only once they download it. This is in order to make a seamless transition from the old Android version to the new one.

Besides all the bug fixes and security patches, the update to android 8.1 also makes enhancements to Goggle Go which is meant for mobiles running on 1GB or less of memory space and also enhancements to Neural networks API which will basically enhance mobile intelligence.

8.1 Update and Pixel Phones: 


All the pixels, coming December will run on android 8.1. With the update all pixel phones will be close to the final version of the OS. The phones will get all the latest in neural networks API, which is at level 27, and all the latest updates besides the usual bug fixes and security patches.

With the 8.1 update, Pixel 2 users get Pixel Visual Core which is an additional processor for images that works alongside a third party app. So apps using Android camera API, can take HDR+ pics.

TensorFlowLite and 8.1: 


The update to 8.1 creates enhancements to Neural Networks API and accelerated performance to Google’s intelligence framework, TensorFlowLite.

All developers can now get their hands on TensorFlowLite download. Neural Networks API allows TensorFlowLite to run models such as Smart Reply, Inception V3 and MobileNets.

8.1 Update for App Developers: 


Developers are encouraged to get their apps tested before the official release of android 8.1 in December. With the new update, developers can test their apps from Google play. For phones that are not pixel or nexus, developers can get their apps tested on an emulator for android 8.1

Speeding up App Development: 


Developers can speed up the process of developing apps by using android studio 3.0. Android studio 3.0 allows developers to not only speed up app development but also has features like Instant Apps, XML Fonts, adaptive icons and more

A side Note…

Google recently presented a project, which they call electronic screen protector. All Google pixel phones will have this feature whereby the front facing camera on the phone and its artificial intelligence show if someone is looking into the phone without permission.

This new intelligence temporarily pauses apps to inform the user that someone is peeking at their screen. It is said that this feature works in all types of light settings and all poses. The peeping tom can be identified within 2 milliseconds.

One of the major reasons for this feature to run fast is that all processing is done on the phone itself and not from a remote server.

A major encouragement to Developers is the invention of GoogleFlowLite. Developers can now develop apps using artificial intelligence more quickly and with more computing power and less storage than its former GoogleFlow.

Friday, 1 December 2017

MIT Team Wins Mars City Design Contest

Redwood Forest idea by MIT team helps them win Mars City Design contest

 
We aren’t going to Mars anytime soon but NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) are simply giving wings to our aspiration with a unique competition. A competition conducted by these two premium space research organization has asked the participants to bring innovative solution for problems likely to be faced while journeying to the Mars. This particular competition focused on building design habitats which can be utilized on the Red Planet in future and it has been aptly titles International Mars City Design competition. Winner for 2017 edition of this completion is a bunch of engineers and architects from the Massachusetts of Technology (MIT).
 

Aiming for Mars City

 
A number of contests are conducted all round the world by different space research organization and private players to solve the problems associated with journeying or living on the Red Planet. The Mars City Design competition is quite well known and notable as it exclusively aims to some up with such solutions which help in building livable and sustainable spaces on Mars. It is also looking forward that the participants will come up with some solution which will allow astronauts to make a return journey with unique and exotic Martian resources with limited cargo.
 

Redwood Forest is a design for Mars city

 
MIT team has termed their winning design ‘Redwood Forest’ which as the name suggests has a collection of tree habitats and it is connected together using a system of tunnels termed ‘roots’. These roots effectively helps in navigating through the Redwood Forest as one can move from one tree habitat to another safely. It will also feature a number of private spaces along with a unique and amazing ‘shirtsleeve transportation’ system. Making use of the tunnels in the Mars City design will help in providing the residents the much needed protection against the abundant cosmic radiation, extreme atmospheric changes and other calamities present on the Martian surface.

The Redwood Forest wouldn’t be going to find itself as a sprawling habitat rather it will be made in the form of dome housing as many as 50 people. MIT engineers are looking forward to get 200 of just domes constructed which will be more than enough to support the group of 10,000 first settlers on the Red Planet. The best thing about this structure is that it easily offers private and public spaces along the possibility of harvesting plants and water on the northern plains of Mars.

MIT Engineers has stated that their Mars City will mimic the functionality and feel of the forest to its very core and it will utilize the existing Martian soil called regolith and ice or water along with the ‘sun’ to support life on the planet. This team even spiritually defines that having a design of forest brings the potential to showcase the outward growth which is seen in the nature and it will help in spreading the habit across the Red Planet in the future.