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Trends

  • Is TrackOFF the internet security service you’ve been sorely missing?

    With so much talk about hacking, identity theft and online fraud floating around in 2017, we'll totally understand if you never want to switch on a computer ever again. Luckily, there are ways to make your online journey a little safer. Browser add-ons, anti-virus programs and common sense are just some of the ways you can filter out -- and avoid -- the gunk from online pages you visit everyday. But some companies believe this isn't quite enough. That's where TrackOFF comes into play. The Baltimore-based security company claims to build the "best in class tools to secure users' identities and personal...

  • CNN’s Facebook accounts briefly breached by OurMine

    CNN's Facebook accounts were briefly compromised this weekend by hacking collective OurMine, Mashable reports. The group, now infamous for gaining access to accounts to peacock their security products, hit CNN's primary, International and Politics pages early morning in South Africa. This isn't the first time OurMine has been in the news in the past six months While the group didn't post anything incriminating or vile, it did flood the pages with its posters, and its usual message: "Hey, it's OurMine we are just testing your security, please contact us for more information." It seems that the group's chief motive was publicity. looks like @CNN...

  • Mozilla Firefox 51 now alerts users of dodgy HTTP logins

    Mozilla Firefox has been steadily losing ground to the likes of Google's Chrome n recent years, but the browser's creator is slowly starting to address the slide by focusing on security. Firefox 51.0 will now alert users who navigate to login pages that are not HTTPS enabled. The browser will display a larger, more noticeable "Connection is Not Secure" warning in the address bar and subsequent context bubble, alerting users of simple, non-encrypted HTTP connections. Any websites utilising passwords such as email services, or during your online banking will now indicate the security of the site in the URL bar. HTTP can...

  • Your Android Pattern Lock isn’t secure at all, research suggests

    Modern Android devices give users a number of authentication methods. From fingerprints to PIN codes, there are a slew of options to unlock your dear device. But some people still rely on the ancient Pattern Lock. Researchers from Britain's universities of Bath and Lancaster, and China's Northwest University, suggest that sliding your thumb seemingly uniquely across nine equidistant dots on a screen isn't as secure as you may have thought. The researchers noted that by using a recorded "video and computer vision algorithm software" -- effectively recording the motion of the hand over the screen -- the Pattern Lock can be...

  • Flexibility, service excellence driving businesses to smaller service providers

    Frustrated South African businesses are increasingly turning to smaller telecommunications service providers, drawn by their ability to innovate and craft bespoke solutions that are backed up by a higher quality of customer service. More than just a good sale or good installation experience, it’s the after sales service that helps smaller telecoms service providers differentiate themselves. Businesses are tired of having to make endless support calls, as well as the seeming lack of urgency with which their problems are addressed. They want to be more than just another number to their service provider. Accountability, flexibility Businesses are also looking for a single...

  • Welcome to 2017: the year of the cloud

    The past year has thrown a spotlight on the importance of availability -- both of services and data. Whether it is a mobile network outage causing lack of access to your data, or even the websites of low-cost airlines being unable to stay online when they are running massive specials on tickets, people have come to understand the importance of having access to accurate information and critical services on-demand. This is even more so the case when downtime directly impacts their lives. Think back to earlier this year when the online learner admission process to register children for Grades one...

  • Stockholm ambulances to alert motorists via radio

    Researchers at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed an early warning system for motorists in the path of oncoming emergency vehicles. Ambulances in the Swedish capital will soon be sporting the new warning system, titled EVAM, which interrupts any audio playing through the car's audio system to broadcast an early warning message. This means that any in-car audio will stop immediately to broadcast a warning that an emergency vehicle is heading in their direction. This is made possible by using radio transmissions from the EMS vehicle to hijack the nearest FM tuner signals. According to one of the three students...

  • This 5D imaging technology can digitally scan living tissue

    Researchers from USC Dornsife and USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed new technology that allows for 5D imaging of animals and human beings. According to the developers, Francesco Cutrale, Prof. Scott Fraser and the late Prof. Elizabeth Garrett, their implementation of 5D imaging -- dubbed Hyper-Spectral Phasor analysis (HySP) -- is cheaper, faster and more accurate than other imaging methods available. 5D imaging technology is useful in detecting important biological molecules, especially signs of disease, being crucial to understanding how diseases interact within a living organism. The HySP uses fluorescent imaging to locate proteins as well as other molecules situated...

  • Fitbit, out to kill smartwatch rivals, buys Vector

    Fresh from acquiring and effectively dismantling Pebble, Fitbit has bought another smartwatch company in the form of Vector. The Vector Watch stood out on the market thanks to its touted 30 day battery life, app support, notification mirroring and support for all three major mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). In a post on the Vector website, the smaller firm announced the deal. "Today, we are happy to announce that the Vector Watch team and our software platform are joining Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market!" Vector wrote. Fitbit continues its quest to snuff out competition in the smartwatch...

  • Paper-based battery to power small electronics?

    Researchers at Binghamton University have created a working bacteria-powered battery which can be used to power small or disposable electronic devices. What makes this creation even more impressive is that it was made on a single sheet of paper. The bio-battery's design could reduce fabrication time as well as bring down the cost of production. Assistant professor Seokheun Choi, part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, commented on the invention in a press release. "Papertronics have recently emerged as a simple and low-cost way to power disposable point-of-care diagnostic sensors," said...

  • ALYSIA: an AI that writes melodies for your lyrics

    Have you ever written your own lyrics but struggled to find the perfect melody to accompany it? Well, the great gods of technology and music might have heard your plea. Margareta Ackerman, an assistant professor at Florida State University, together with David Loker from the technology advisory firm Orbitwerks, has developed an artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to write a melody for your lyrics. "I was studying singing while I was doing my PhD in computer science," Ackerman was quoted as saying by NewScientist. "Over time, I started to think of computers as creative partners instead of tools, which could...

  • Alternative electrolytes could stop exploding smartphones

    Researchers have identified dozens of electrolytes that could be alternative solutions to volatile liquids used in smartphones. Researchers at Stanford University used machine learning and AI involvement to find suitable electrolytes. Their findings were published in the Energy & Environmental Science journal. These new electrolytes could replace liquids used in batteries which power smartphones, laptops as well as other electronic devices. Lead author of the paper Austin Sendek, a doctoral candidate in applied physics, commented on the findings in a press release. "Electrolytes shuttle lithium ions back and forth between the battery's positive and negative electrodes," he explained. "Liquid electrolytes are cheap and...

  • Tinder hits Apple TV: get gran to find matches for you

    Tinder is a rather private experience for many people, but the hookup/dating app is now available on Apple TV, if you can believe that. What's the logic behind this move, though? "We decided that the goal of our Apple TV integration should be two-fold: 1) to serve our end users by providing a new use case -- the 'party' swipe, a fun activity with friends and 2) to create a lightweight, modern app that would serve as an experiment field for new architecture proposals," the developer wrote on their blog. Apple TV users will need to use their remote's touchpad to swipe, but...

  • Robotic hands are getting more touchy-feely

    A group of scientists at Cornell University have created a way for soft robotic hands to feel their surroundings internally, much like we do. The group was led by the assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, Robert Shepherd. Their paper detailed how stretchable optical waveguides can act as sensors in a soft robotic hand. The paper, titled Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides, was featured in an edition of Science Robotics. Lead author of the paper Huichan Zhao commented on his findings in a blog post. "Most robots today have sensors on the outside of the...

  • New ransomware unlocks your PC – if you infect friends

    A new form of ransomware has emerged online that promises to unlock your PC if you infect your friends with said ransomware. Dubbed Popcorn Time, the malware lets you pay a ransom to unlock your PC. But if you'd rather not spend cash, you can send Popcorn Time to at least two other friends and have them pay a ransom. If the friends pay a ransom, then your PC will be unlocked as well, Bleeping Computer and MalwareHunterTeam reports. The new ransomware makes for rather astounding news, thanks to its friend-sharing "incentive" It also appears that Popcorn Time has "unfinished code", suggesting that entering...