Category Archives: Technology

Is Technology Threatening Our Privacy?

Malicious software, also known as malware, comes in many different forms. One form of malware that has become an increasingly large threat in recent years is what’s known as ransomware.

While most malware simply steals information or spies on you, ransomware is a unique kind of malware that actually steals money from victims. Here’s how it works.

You turn on your computer and enter your login credentials. But instead of seeing your desktop, you see a red screen with a message telling you your files have been encrypted. All you have to do to get them back is send a certain amount of cryptocurrency to a particular address. Your data has been taken ransom, which is where ransomware gets its name from.

WannaCry: One of the Biggest Cyberattacks Ever

The most notorious form of ransomware to date was known as the WannaCry virus. The outbreak of WannaCry was the worse ransomware attack in history. The attack was first unleashed in May of 2017 and didn’t target any specific users. The outbreak affected many people and organizations on all seven continents.

One variant of the WannaCry virus had a worm component. This means that the virus was able to automatically replicate itself and spread to as many other machines as it possibly could. For example, if a computer on a corporate network had been infected with WannaCry, the virus could quickly spread to all other machines on the network, holding all of them hostage. This did, in fact, happen to a number of organizations in 2017.

Just how widespread was the WannaCry attack? Avast, a cybersecurity company that makes antivirus software, reported on their blog that at its peak, there were over 10,000 WannaCry attacks being detected every hour, which is an extraordinarily high number. And there could have been additional infections that went undetected as well.

The WannaCry virus was first created by the National Security Agency (NSA) but made public by a group called the Shadow Brokers, who released a trove of NSA documents in April 2017. The individual responsible for stopping the WannaCry attack was a secretive hacker known as MalwareTech. Later that same year, MalwareTech was hunted down in Las Vegas by the FBI, and they had the hacker arrested for creating malware that could steal banking information from infected devices.

Some Other Infamous Viruses

While WannaCry is one of the most recent big computer viruses, there have been many others like it. In 2000, for example, the biggest computer virus of all time was known as the ILOVEYOU virus. This virus was also a self-replicating worm. It infected users by getting them to click on an attachment entitled “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU-TXT-vbs.” The attachment came in an email with a tagline that said: “I love you.”

ILOVEYOU overwrite personal files and system files and kept on spreading itself without end. Even after the virus hit world headlines, people still kept clicking on the email attachments out of curiosity. Hopefully, today’s internet users have grown somewhat wiser and have the common sense to not click on unknown links or attachments. ILOVEYOU even made the Guinness Book of World Records for the “most virulent” virus of all time.

Some Other Famous Hackers

The hacker known as MalwareTech is not the only of his kind, either. While MalwareTech became famous for stopping WannaCry, other hackers have become known for more malicious activities.

Take Albert Gonzales, for example. Gonzales was responsible for the biggest credit card heist in human history. By installing a sniffing program on corporate networks, he was able to sniff out the information of over 170 million credit cards. He then sold the cards to other criminals. He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Kevin Mitnick is another world-famous hacker. Mitnick was, at one time, the most wanted cybercriminal in the USA. Today he works as a successful security consultant. But years ago, he was convicted of hacking into some of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world and even hacked The Pentagon.

In the end, there’s no question that technology is threatening our privacy to a certain degree. That’s why being privacy-conscious is more important than ever. Don’t fall victim to attacks like ransomware.

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Apple Sends Out Media Invites For WWDC Keynote On June 3

Apple today sent out media invites for the keynote event of its 30th annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which takes place at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. 

The WWDC keynote will provide a first look at new software that Apple is debuting in 2019, including iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13. 

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Amazon Scout

Amazon Scout is a fully-electric delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices.  These devices are the size of a small cooler, and roll along sidewalks at a walking pace. Scout will begin delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington.

How will delivery by Amazon Scout work? 

Customers in Snohomish County order just as they normally would and their Amazon packages will be delivered either by one of Amazon’s partner carriers or by Amazon Scout. Customers can shop on the Amazon App or amazon.com and enjoy the same delivery options including fast, free same-day, one-day and two-day shipping for Prime members.  Amazon is starting with six Amazon Scout devices, delivering packages Monday through Friday, during daylight hours. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but will initially be accompanied by an Amazon employee. 

After Amazon ensures the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path, the hope is that Scout will be added to the growing suite of innovative delivery solutions for customers!

Learn more HERE.

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Nike Announces Adapt BB: Their $350 iPhone-Controlled Self-Adjusting Basketball Shoes

Today Nike announced new iPhone-controlled self-adjusting basketball shoes based on its latest FitAdapt technology. 

Nike’s first smart shoe designed for on-court performance, the Nike Adapt BB delivers a consistent, customized fit that’s unique to every basketball player. With the Nike Adapt app, set and save your favorite fits, customize the lights and download updates to continuously improve your experience.

The Nike Adapt BB shoes feature an advanced power-lacing system with a custom motor that senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to ensure a snug fit. Using buttons on the shoe or the Nike Adapt app for smartphones, basketball players can adjust the fit on the fly during a game. 

The shoes are equipped with a 505 mAh battery that can last between 10 and 20 days and charge wirelessly on Nike’s shoe-sized Qi-compatible mat in three hours. 

The shoes are priced at $350 in the United States and will begin shipping on February 16, according to Nike’s online store.

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Is This The Flying Taxi of The Future?

At CES, Fort Worth, Texas-based firm Bell revealed a full-scale model of its Nexus hybrid-electric air taxi that can take off and land vertically, and seat five people.

The flying car/helicopter uses six tilting ducted fans to move through the air and make vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) maneuvers, and its hybrid propulsion system is said to allow for covering greater distances than a purely electric drivetrain.

Bell is planning to partner with Uber and the cab service company is keen on being as quick as possible to offer air taxi rides. Air taxi rides could become a reality in the mid-2020s.

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The Boring Company Loop System

In a tunnel underneath the streets of Hawthorne, CA, Elon Musk’s other venture, The Boring Company is focused on the future of urban mobility. 

Musk invited a select group of people to come and try their first test tunnel. 1.14 miles in length. The tunnel is built for autonomous electric vehicles outfitted with deployable tracking wheels. The video below shows one of these early test runs, from lowering down the elevator shaft at the start to its return to the surface via a separate elevator at the end. 

Concept Transport Vehicle

In addition to private vehicles, the company will also operate a number of its own vehicles as public transit, however, no opening date has been set.

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Is There Cause for Concern?

Is There Cause for Concern? This is the Question that has been asked about the budget Chinese phones with relation to your privacy. 

Well, trusting any brand you have never heard of with your security and your privacy is not a wise idea, and unfortunately many budget-priced Android smartphones have been proven to have some security and privacy problems. 

For instance, last July the Russian antivirus firm (Dr.Web) stated that the models they had tested under the Nomu and the Leagoo names actually had a malware program built right into the firmware, and to my mind,  that is simply outrageous and completely unacceptable. 

Also, I read that just lately Amazon suspended the sales of phones that are marketed by BLU because of (get this!) snooping adware was built into the devices, although it only took a few days for Amazon to be selling the phone again, which again makes me very wary how Amazon can guarantee the security of this make. 

These reports of cheap Chinese handsets (including the Blu phones) are not new as spyware allegations were made last autumn, and it seems that the collection of user data is alive and well, so does this mean that if I invested in a cheap Android phone then I am running the risk of having my security and privacy compromised?  

This could be so as many researchers now believe that buying a phone from China is like playing a game of Russian roulette with your privacy, and more so they firmly advocate anyone who is considering doing this to think twice before buying and Android phone from any manufacturer that is unfamiliar. 

I guess that this makes a lot of sense because if you think about it if your phone is going to cost say less than £80 or so unlocked and if it doesn’t make you watch adds then how is the company going to make money? 

Sometimes, if I have a little free time in my day, I like to enjoy the odd slots game online and usually I like to use those sites that show you how to deposit with your phone. Now, If I thought that the makers of my phone were collecting my personal data about how I spend my time on my phone I wold not be best pleased. 

Paying for my games using my mobile phones is one of the ways that I guarantee that my banking details are not used, and I believe that this is a more secure way of playing at any game or online casino site, and I do not want my anonymity compromised.

The same goes for those that use bitcoin via the blockchain as the who purpose of the crypto currency is to provide practically instant and anonymous payments, no-one wants any phone company to collect their data in an underhand way and use it for their own gain. 

So, I would say, research the model and the brand, research the seller’s reputation and don’t take every review as gospel. 

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SpaceX’s First Tourists Will Fly Around The Moon For Free Thanks To Japanese Billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa

SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle – an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.

Only 24 humans have been to the Moon in history. No one has visited since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Monday that he plans to blast off on the first-ever commercial trip around the moon and will invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people on the weeklong journey. Maezawa bought the seats for the entire flight, not just one for himself.

Maezawa made a down payment but would not disclose the amount. Musk called it a “significant price” that would have “material impact to the BFR program.”

The SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, Maezawa and company founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

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Examples of How Technology Can Improve Your Life

You may not even be fully aware of all the ways technology is impacting and improving your daily life. It’s possible you’ve been skeptical of it in the past because it can be confusing and complicated at times.

Review the various ways for how it’s enhancing your lifestyle, and you may find you truly can get behind it once and for all. Pay attention when you’re at home or out and about and notice how much you’re using technology on a regular basis and what you like about it. This is what will help you get more comfortable with these new ideas and concepts.

Entertainment Purposes

Pop culture continues to surprise and entertain you on a daily basis, whether it’s through your television or music. Technology can improve your life by making you enjoy your days better through these sorts of relaxing and pleasurable mediums. You and your kids are continuously able to reduce stress and unwind with activities such as watching movies and engaging with various games and characters online. 

In the Workplace

Technology is also changing and improving the way you work at the office and in your job. For example, if you ever find yourself facing legal troubles, you can collaborate with a company like Secure Data Recovery Services to find and retrieve the data you need to prove your side of the story. They’ll be able to dig up old records of your interactions and conversations so you can use it as evidence against the other side. In addition, you can bring tasks you’re doing by hand online and be more productive and efficient on a daily basis. 

Capture Memories

Technology improves your life because you can now capture memories using your electronic devices and have them in your possession for years to come. You can use video or a camera to document a family vacation or milestone moments in your kid’s lives. Put them in safekeeping so you can either print out the pictures and display them in your house or pull up family videos and watch them as a group and reminisce about the fun times you’ve had. 

At Home

Your home is likely filled with advancements in technology including your appliances, electronics, and home security solutions. It’s likely you own a smartphone that you use constantly to keep you organized and on track with your daily responsibilities. There’s also now home gym equipment that uses technology to help push you to work harder and burn more calories while listening to your favorite music or viewing an instructor you like on the screen. In addition, clap your hands to turn on and off the lights or install a smart thermostat that knows what temperature to keep your house at while you’re away.

Conclusion

Technology has the ability to improve and change your life in a wide variety of ways. You should now feel more equipped to welcome it into your regular routine and embrace the positive

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What Stephen King Book Should You Read Next? Just Ask Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

Beginning today, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant users in the U.S.and Canada will be able to download a free “Stephen King Library” app onto their smart speaker platforms, Simon & Schuster has announced. The library will recommend King books tailored to users’ reading tastes from a selection of 56 books by King.

Simon & Schuster is billing the “Stephen King Library” as perhaps “the first voice-activated book recommendation tool dedicated to an author’s body of work from a major publisher.” The library was jointly produced by King’s longtime publisher Scribner, S&S, and Simon & Schuster Audio, and was developed by Skilled Creative.

“Simon & Schuster intends to be at the forefront of utilizing voice interaction technology to connect books and authors to readers and audiobook listeners,” S&S executive v-p and chief marketing officer Liz Perl said in a statement. “Using A.I. through Stephen King Library is a fun and innovative experience for exploring this master storyteller’s work.”

The program, S&S said, will ask users a series of situational questions—voiced by audiobook narrator Jeremy Bobb—and suggest a reading list informed by their responses. In-app purchases are not yet available, but consumers can buy the books from their platform’s retail store shopping carts.

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