Google Rolling Out Fix For Wi-Fi Killing Bug - [security]
06:12 PM EST - Jan,19 2018 - post a comment
In a post
on a Google Home Help page, Google has announced they have identified the bug that was causing many users' router to be hammered with requests and subsequently freezing. These issues were most commonly reported by those who own a TP-Link Archer C7 router. Though initial user reports suggested it was strictly TP-Link routers that had these issues, Android Police has since found that users with Linksys and Synology routers have faced similar problems. If you were unlucky enough to be affected by one or more of these issues, you won't need to toss your Chromecast or Google Home device out just yet as Google is on the case. Today, the company started rolling out updates via Google Play services that should address these issues entirely. If the update is taking a while to hit your device, you can opt to download
the Google Play Services 11.9.74 beta APK to get access to the fix ASAP.
iOS Update to Let iPhone Owners Keep Phones Running Fast - [briefly]
06:08 PM EST - Jan,19 2018 - post a comment
Apple plans to give iPhone owners more control
over their devices, particularly the battery and performance, says CEO Tim Cook. Speaking to ABCNews, Cook addressed the issue concerning older iPhone batteries. The company admitted late last year that it slows down the performance of some devices in order to prevent them from shutting down. End users often complain that their devices feel slow after updating the software. "At the heart of any decision we make is the user, and we felt it would be better to take something off of the performance to prevent [iPhones from restarting]. We deeply apologize for anybody who thinks we have some other kind of motivation," said Cook. Because the problem pertains to the battery, Apple reduced the cost of replacement batteries from $79 to $29. Putting a new battery in an old phone mitigates the issue. Apple plans to take things a step further. It will soon give people more insight into the health of their iPhone's battery. "We've listened to the feedback very carefully and in addition to giving everyone a very low price on a battery if they'd like to get a new battery, we're also going to, in a developer release that happens next month, give people the visibility of the health of their battery. It's very very transparent. This hasn't been done before. We will tell someone we're reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart and, if you don't want it, you can turn it off." Cook didn't provide specifics as to how the battery tool will work. The company tests new features in developer betas ahead of releasing them to the general public. Apple did not say when the feature might reach all iPhones.
Google Sends Security Patch to Pixel Phones - [security]
06:07 PM EST - Jan,19 2018 - post a comment
Google has sent a fresh security patch to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets. Google says the update "fixes critical bugs and improves the performance and stability" of the Pixel smartphones. The update is about 50 MB and can be downloaded over the air. Google normally issues security patches at the beginning of each month. This mid-month update is atypical. Google has also begun distributing Google Play Services 11.9.74 beta, which contains fixes for the Chromecast WiFi-sapping bug revealed earlier this week. The Play Services update is being pushed in limited numbers. Google hasn't said when the final version of Play Services 11.9.74, with the Chromecast patch, will reach all devices.
OnePlus Confirms 40,000 Customers' Data at Risk - [briefly]
06:07 PM EST - Jan,19 2018 - post a comment
today said up to 40,000 customers' credit card data may have been lifted in an attack. Earlier this week, OnePlus customers reported fraudulent activity on their credit cards after making purchases from OnePlus' web site. OnePlus says its investigation shows the company was indeed compromised. "One of our systems was attacked, and a malicious script was injected into the payment page code to sniff out credit card info while it was being entered," explained the company. "The malicious script operated intermittently, capturing and sending data directly from the user's browser. It has since been eliminated. We have quarantined the infected server and reinforced all relevant system structures." OnePlus believes people who used its web site between mid-November 2017 and January 11, 2018, may be impacted by the breach. At risk are credit card numbers along with their expiration dates and security codes. OnePlus says customers who used PayPal aren't affected. The company has emailed everyone it believes may be at risk. In the mean time, OnePlus suggests those who made purchases on OnePlus.net during the above time frame should examine their bank statements for any fraudulent charges. "We cannot apologize enough for letting something like this happen," said OnePlus. "We are working with our providers and local authorities to better address the incident. We are also working with our current payment providers to implement a more secure credit card payment method, as well as conducting an in-depth security audit. All these measures will help us prevent such incidents from happening in the future." The company thanked its customers for their understanding and its community for its continued support.
AMD Radeon Adrenalin 18.1.1 Beta Drivers - [briefly]
01:37 PM EST - Jan,19 2018 - post a comment
AMD late Thursday released Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.1.1 Beta drivers
to the public. Bearing the same version numbering as the early-January 18.1.1 Alpha release, these drivers have a more detailed change-log, which includes the game crash fix for DirectX 9 games; freezing experienced in DRM-protected video playback, a stability issue affecting Windows 10 "Movies & TV" app, color corruption on Radeon Overlay when running multiple game and 3D applications, PUBG menu flickering in multi-GPU systems, and more.
A small number of DirectX 9 games may experience
crashes or instability.
Radeon FreeSync enabled system configurations may
experience stuttering when using the performance metrics feature in
Protected video content may intermittently
experience a freeze or hang during playback.
A blank screen may be experienced while playing back
videos when using Movies & TV player.
Starcraft2 may experience corruption in multi GPU
enabled system configurations.
Bezel compensation controls when creating display
groups may be misaligned or have no functionality.
Blank videos may be experienced when playing back
videos in edge browser after the system resumes from sleep.
Color corruption may intermittently be observed in
Radeon overlay with multiple gaming applications and performance
The Radeon WattMan fan slider may intermittently
fail to change after loading profiles.
Enhanced Sync may not enable for game profiles in
Radeon Settings when using Vulkan API.
On multi GPU enabled system configurations Player
Unknowns Battlegrounds may experience menu item flickering.
CLINFO may report incorrect values in multi GPU
Tomb Raider - Official Movie Trailer #2 - [briefly]
05:17 PM EST - Jan,18 2018 - post a comment
Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Tomb Raider is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. The film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (The Wave), with Oscar-winner Graham King (The Departed) producing under his GK Films banner. The films production begins on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.
Tomb Raider also stars Dominic West (Money Monster, 300), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) and Daniel Wu (AMC's Into the Badlands).
Carmageddon TDR 2000 is free - [gaming]
12:35 PM EST - Jan,18 2018 - post a comment
GOG and Stainless Games are currently offering Carmageddon TDR 2000 for free
for the next 480 hours. PC gamers can go ahead and download this DRM-free version of Carmageddon TDR 2000 and it keep it theirs forever. This free offer will end on January 20th, 2PM UTC, so be sure to acquire your free copy while you still can. All you have to do is visit the game's GOG store page and get your free copy via its 'Get It Here' button.
Intel Random Restart Bug & Data Center Performance After Patches - [briefly]
10:20 AM EST - Jan,18 2018 - post a comment
Back on January 11
, Intel started seeing reports of random system reboots after applying Meltdown and Spectre patches on Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. Seems as if this was not an isolated occurrence and this has now been verified with other Intel partners. And this looks to be hammering a larger base of CPUs than first reported. Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake processors are also affected
. Microcode is in the works to address this and being worked on now.
We have now issued firmware updates for 90 percent of Intel CPUs introduced in the past five years, but we have more work to do. As I noted in my blog post last week, while the firmware updates are effective at mitigating exposure to the security issues, customers have reported more frequent reboots on firmware updated systems.
As part of this, we have determined that similar behavior occurs on other products in some configurations, including Ivy Bridge-, Sandy Bridge-, Skylake-, and Kaby Lake-based platforms. We have reproduced these issues internally and are making progress toward identifying the root cause. In parallel, we will be providing beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week.
Monster Hunter World Commercial By Sony Is Hilarious - [gaming]
03:07 PM EST - Jan,17 2018 - post a comment
Densha Otoko star Takayuki Yamada is back as the Japanese face of PlayStation, imitating the monsters of Monster Hunter World in a hilarious ad. Monster Hunter World will release for PS4, Xbox One and PC on January 26th and for PC this fall.
World's most powerful mobile spyware can read WhatsApp messages - [security]
03:05 PM EST - Jan,17 2018 - post a comment
Security firm Kaspersky has uncovered
a new Android spyware tool that's being described as one of the most powerful and advanced forms of mobile malware ever. Named after one of the domains where it was first identified, Skygofree can perform a number of malicious activities, including recording audio and reading WhatsApp messages.
While Kaspersky discovered Skygofree in late 2017, it's been around and evolving since 2014. What makes the spyware particularly insidious is the way it's distributed through fake sites designed to look like those from mobile carriers. The tool is advertised as a piece of software designed to increase the internet speeds of anyone who downloads it.
It appears that those behind Skygofree and the people it targets are all based in Italy. "Given the artefacts we discovered in the malware code and our analysis of the infrastructure, we have a high level of confidence that the developer behind the Skygofree implants is an Italian IT company that offers surveillance solutions," said Kaspersky Lab's Alexey Firsh.
References to Rome-based technology company Negg were found in Skygofree's code. According to Forbes, archived versions of the small company's website shows it provides cybersecurity and app development services. It also offers forensic capabilities and has worked with authorities and prosecutors in Italy.
Some of Skygofree's capabilities include tracking the location of an infected device and switching on a microphone to record audio when a person enters a certain place. The spyware is also able to connect to Wi-Fi networks controlled by the hackers, which can occur even when a user has disabled a device's Wi-Fi. This could compromise passwords, allow the collection of personal information, and more. Additionally, it can read victims' private WhatsApp messages through Accessibility Services - a tool for visually and audibly impaired users. Finally, it can intercept user data like SMS messages and calendar events, as well as turn on the front-facing camera to take a picture when a user unlocks their device.
Only a few infections have been discovered, and all of them were in Italy. But Android users everywhere are still advised to stick with downloading apps from official stores and be wary of suspicious websites and links.
YouTube Announces Stricter Criteria For Monetization - [internet]
01:17 PM EST - Jan,17 2018 - post a comment
YouTube has announced
today that moving forward it wi be tougher to get a partnership and run ads on videos. Previously, channels had to reach 10,000 total views to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Starting today, new channels will need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads. We will begin enforcing these new requirements for existing channels in YPP beginning February 20th, 2018.
Chromecast, Google Home linked to potential Wi-Fi issues - [briefly]
02:55 PM EST - Jan,16 2018 - post a comment
Wireless mesh networks are a trendy solution to spotty Wi-Fi but according to a recent report from Android Police
, those Wi-Fi woes may be self-imposed. The publication recently highlighted connectivity issues experienced by some users when adding a Google Home Max smart speaker to their wireless network. The issue is especially prevalent among TP-Link Archer C7 router owners according to the Google Product Forums and has been identified by TP-Link as an issue with MDNS packets keeping a live connection with Cast devices. Since the initial report a few days ago, TP-Link has issued a beta firmware update for the Archer C7 that should solve the issue but unfortunately, it doesn't end there. In a follow-up, Android Police says they've received reports
of additional router and Cast-enabled devices exhibiting the same issues. Other model routers from TP-Link are experiencing issues, as are routers from companies like Linksys and Synology. The issues, according to Android Police, seem to be related to other Google Home devices and perhaps even Chromecast dongles. As the site speculates, this could end up being an issue on Google's end. Additional time will be needed to fully explore the matter but if you've run into any Wi-Fi problems like those mentioned here, perhaps your first troubleshooting step should be to weed out potentially troublesome hardware on your network.
Twitter Looks at Your DMs and Saves those for Later - [crime-law]
02:08 PM EST - Jan,15 2018 - post a comment
Project Veritas has released undercover footage of Twitter Engineers and employees admitting that Twitter employees view all of your private messages on their servers and analyze it to create a "virtual profile" of you which they sell to advertisers. The footage features four current Twitter software engineers–Conrado Miranda, Clay Haynes, Pranay Singh, and Mihai Alexandru Florea.
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