Monday, 29 June 2015

Apple Obtains Touch ID-Related Patents From Biometric Security Firm Privaris


Privaris
Apple Procures TouchID Patents from Privaris 

As reported by David Goldman to CNN, Apple has been trying to procure the property assets of Privaris, a Charlottesville, Virginia based biometric security firm. It is probably more likely that Privaris has gone out of business and Apple has obtained the company’s patent portfolio together with other property though the possibility of an acquisition cannot be ruled out entirely.

Privaris mainly makes tiny fingerprint readers which are attached to key chain. Several of the patents of Privaris portfolio are made up of fingerprint and touchscreen technology for the purpose of transaction, control machine and to back up personal data. It was reported that Privaris had recently transferred 26 of its 31 patents to the iPhone maker, inclusive of the 4 patents in December 2012 together with a dozen more in October 2014. The patents are mainly connected to fingerprint and touchscreen technology which could lead to Touch ID enhancement on the future devices.


Updated Touch ID with Reduced Errors

KGI Securities’, well known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in February last, had informed investors that the next iPhone would be having updated Touch ID with reduced errors. For instance, one of the patents of Privaris shields the ability of using a touchscreen and fingerprint reader simultaneously while another invention enables the user to open a door with the iPhone on scanning the fingerprint and holding the phone up to a reader just the way one would pay for items with Apple Pay.

Although the transfer of patents have created achievement rumours, the website of Privaris has not been updated since 2010 and none of the company’s senior officials or employees seem to have updated their LinkedIn profiles with status at Apple.It has been reported that Privaris had raised $29 million in funding, had developed a line-up of PlusID personal biometric devices in order to access computers, websites, networks, software, VPNs, online apps and secured printers. Its products serve as a device to unlock office door and can add to security for an RSA SecureID token before logging into a computer.

Products & Services – Access Control System

Besides this, the company had also provided other products as well as services connected to access control systems, biometric computer security, fingerprint authentication, biometric security software together with access cards, technologies of which fall within the margin of Touch ID. Mikhail Avandy, founder of SmartUp, a company which offers legal advice to startups had commented that they have found Apple’s next acquisition while Goldman reports that Avady who had first discovered that Privaris’ patents had been transferred to Apple had observed that none of Privaris founders had changed their LinkeIn profiles to Apple, presuming that the deal could not have been completed.

Privaris also had some patents which could make the iPhone’s TouchID sensor quite useful. However, it is not clear about Apple’s purpose with the technology. Apple purchases licenses and patents a lot of intellectual property which it never utilises. No comments have been made by Apple and Privaris in this regard. The company has also sold in August 2012, 4 smart card patents to 1PerfecId and has held only one patent of its original 31.

Free vs. Premium Website Builders - What’s the Difference?


site builders

At first glance, online website builders seem like the perfect option for those of us looking to create a new site on a budget. After all, many of them offer completely free plans, meaning we can get our websites up and running without investing so much as a penny.

Since most of those plans seem to offer everything we need to get started, you may be wondering why anybody would even bother to splash out on those premium, paid-for plans that your site builder of choice offers alongside its free package.

Whether you’re wondering whether or not to invest in a paid plan, or aren’t sure how it could ever benefit to your site, here’s our look at the major differences between free and premium website builders.

Domain names 

As any web expert with their salt will tell you, your domain name plays a crucial role in the success of your website. Something short, simple and reflective of who you are and what you do will stick in the minds of your audience, help you establish a professional image online and can even do much to help with your Search Engine Optimisation efforts.

To get a domain like this (such as mycompany.com) for a site you create with a website building platform, you’re going to have to break out the wallet and pay for a premium plan, most of which come with a top-level domain name included.

Decide to stick with the free plan, and the only way visitors will have of checking out your site is by going to a sub-domain of your site builder, such as mycompany.websitebuilder.com or sitebuilder.com/mycompany. Either way, it’s hardly as memorable, or as professional as the paid alternative.

Branding 

Speaking of presenting a professional image, few things are likely to create the wrong impression of your business than having somebody else’s branding plastered all over it, and that’s what you’ll get with a freebie.
In order to make their money back from free plans, a lot of website builders put their own advertising on your site. If you want to remove this, you guessed it, it’s time to upgrade.

Storage and bandwidth allocations 

If there’s anything more important to your website than your domain name, it’s the amount of storage and bandwidth you’re allocated when you sign up to a plan. Though small, seldomly-visited sites may be just fine with a very minimal amount of other, let’s face it, your goals with your new site are to be neither small nor seldomly visited.

If you’re going to grow, add new content, and make sure your users can access it without waiting a long time for it to load, you’ll need a decent amount of storage space to host your files, and plenty of bandwidth to serve them up.

As you may have already worked out, you get much more resources with a paid plan than you do with a free one. A good web builder comparison site like Best Website Builders Now looks at the kind of resources you can expect to receive when you sign up with one of the major platforms.

eCommerce 

Though some platforms do offer a minimal eCommerce support with their free plans, these are few and far between, and often limited to the ability to sell just a single product.

If you’re planning to launch a full online store, that’s the sort of thing that’s only really achievable with a premium plan.

Support 

Since most site creators are designed for those with no technical skills, it’s very rare that you should run into any problems, but if things aren’t quite going the way you planned, it may be time to turn to support. In the majority of cases, free users can access a knowledgebase and potentially email support, whilst telephone, live chat and other means of support are often only available to those on paid plans.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Google's Nest Labs Unveil HD Security Camera


Nest
Google’s Home Sensing Unit – Security Camera/Smoke Alarm 

Nest Labs, which is Google’s Home sensing division has revealed its latest set of a new version of home security camera enhancing technology connected to smart homes. The so called Nest Cam has been designed on technology obtained when Dropcam had been purchased by Nest last year for US4550 million. Dropcam founded in 2009, permitted users to install cameras in their home for the purpose of live viewing and recording combined with the option for night vision.

 The camera had the potential of shooting video at full 1080p high definition an improvement from the Dropcam’s 720p. It provides an 8X digital zoom, motion sensors, as well as leverages 8 infrared LEDs in order to capture flawless footages especially at night. Besides this it also had the capabilities of differentiating between the various kinds of movement in the videos together with alerts to the users should some untoward incidents takes place at home in their absence. The videos which is captured is said to be uploaded directly to the Nest Aware cloud storage wherein live feed could be run on a smartphone or a computer thus enabling Nest Cam with the capabilities of accurate alerts to the users in case of movement in the house.

Modernize Home Gear – Intelligent/Connected Devices 

It is said to be available in seven countries, inclusive of US, Canada and several parts of Europe, namely Germany and the U.K. Google’s Nest unit is putting in resources in its product line-up in convincing consumers that they need to modernize their home gear with intelligent, connected devices while competing with rivals like Apple and Samsung. If users intent to review recorded videos, they would have to buy a subscription and customers can pay subscription fee of £8 and £24 per month in order to keep the video for 10 and 30 days respectively.

Nest Product – the Protect smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, another product unveiled, detects fire quicker than the first generation product according to Nest and comes at a price of $99 and will be shipped next month. It appears to be thinner and has various features which automatically ensure its working while it avoids false warnings. Nest is said to be partnering with home insurance companies which includes American Family Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance with its Protect product.

Mobile/Desktop App – Control Nest Devices 

Qualified consumers could get their device for free or at reduced cost to receive discounts on insurance premiums through reward program. Tony Fadell, co-founder of Nest Labs has his focus in getting the product paid off when he was at Apple, where he had worked during the rise of the company in 2001. He had been a long time deputy to co-founder Steve Jobs as well as central to the development of the iPod and iPhone.

At the time of the event in San Francisco, the company also unveiled a new mobile and desktop app which will help users in controlling all their Nest devices and with the inclusion of the Nest Cam, the company has now three products inclusive of the Nest Protect and Nest thermostat. These products are a part of internet connected devices collecting sensitive data which come under Google’s umbrella. According to Nest’s senior product manager and head of its developer program, Greg Hu commented during an interview following the announcement, that Google will not gain any data unless authorised by the users. That authorisation, which was announced earlier, enables a variety of third party services and Google services to inter-relate with Nest devices.

Friday, 26 June 2015

This Might Be the Most Beautiful Keyboard Ever Made


Keyboardio
When it comes to computer, very less attention is given to the good old as well as the humble keyboards. They are considered like the utilitarian devices which are meant for helping people to carry out their computer functions as well as let the computer know our commands.

However, if these keyboards can be turned out to become a piece of art, something people might find pleasure looking at it for being gorgeous and waiting to get their hands on it. This is the main idea behind the new Keyboardio Model 01, which is a unique keyboard and has been able to pull lots of money being on Kickstarter. A single glance at the model is enough to let you know that it is different. There are many of us, who have already seen split keyboards, but nothing can match or look this till not.

It can be considered as a simple hint that it might a good time to mix nature with our automated world and technology. The Model 01 has been given a butterfly shape in the body and has been made out of hardwood maple, which allows smooth tree rings all around the keys.

The key switches have been made mechanical and the creators of 01 made them similar to the ones which are found on the Apple II. Each Keycap has been custom sculpted but still the layout of the keyboard has been based on the QWERTY layout. But despite this all the keys swoop all over the board in waves. The description of the product looks and sounds to very poetic, it sounds like someone was trying to make the keyboard feel like a musical instrument. The Model 01 is nothing like the previous keyboards, it is dynamic. The users can keep it laying flat, split it apart, it can be raised in the center and make it look like tripod, and it suits the typing style of every person. People, who are into flair, will truly appreciate the LEDs which have been tucked under every key and that too these are programmable.

This keyboard is piece of modern art which is functional. The project has got potential and this is the reason it has managed to pull in $250,000 as backup in early phase, it has $120,000 in funding and still got 28 days left to complete the project.

Despite all the features the company has already stated that they cannot confirm that this model will be ideal for everyone since each one will have their own learning curve. Usually it might take just couple of hours to get a hang of the new keyboard but with this new keyboard it can take more than 2 months to master the keys. If time is not a constraint for people who are excited about getting this new keyboard, they can puck the Model 01 by paying around $299 in US, bout £190, AU$389 and expect the delivery by April 2016.

Samsung Galaxy: What You Need to Know About Reported Security Risk


Samsung
Reports suggest that millions of owners of Samsung Galaxy Smartphone might be at risk dealing with calls eavesdropping, data theft and malware installation. Downside to this problem is the fact that no action can be taken by the owners to avoid this situation. The security flaw has been found in the Swiftkey keyboard software that has been preinstalled on nearly 600 million smartphones made by the South Korean electronics giant.

This security flaw was reported by Nowsecure, mobile security company. Since the users have no option to uninstall this software they are basically powerless and more prone to this vulnerability. According to the reports some of the devices which have been disclosed to have been affected include Galaxy S6, S5, S4 as well as S4 mini. Statement released by Samsung has suggested that they are working on releasing out a solution to this problem in the coming few day. This fix will be accessible to the uses through their Samsung Knox service. This fix will be like a security policy updated which can be downloaded and installed on the phones.

The statement of the company also indicated that they are taking any emerging security threats seriously. They are not only working on the security policy update but they are working on the Swiftkey to avoid any potential threats in the near future.

Customers are already getting upset with the increasing instances of security flaw and security breaches in terms of their data getting compromised as well as getting held by banks and retailers. Now if the same happens on the mobile device, we can understand their fury? According to the reports released by Target, nearly 40 million people has reported their credit cards to be stolen at the sale terminals and this was followed by increasing hacks on email addresses, names as well as phone numbers that affected 70 million customers. According to Nowsecure, Samsung was already informed about this problem in December 2014.

Even though Samsung has already started giving patch to their mobile network operators but they cannot confirm if the carriers are providing the same on the devices as well. According to the devices lists which have got affected, all these phones have unknown patch condition or they do not have the patch available. The phones are becoming highly vulnerable to flaws and attacks from various fronts.

For instance a small time hacker might be able to gain access to the phone by using unsecured Wi-Fi connections on the other hand and sophisticated hacker will take a professional approach to gain access through proper sources. Some of the security experts have stated that this latest attack might fetch many returns for the hackers.

They stated that users should avoid using insecure Wi-Fi networks to avoid risks, try using different types of mobile devices as well as keep updated about the patch update and timing. They stated that lots of things were not in place which can make it difficult for the hackers to extract any benefits. It looks to be very unusual path taken by people to hack into computers and devices.