A sign is pictured in the hallway of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, the new headquarters of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, in Redmond, Washington November 11, 2013.
A previously unknown flaw in a recent version of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer web browser is being used to attack Internet users, including some visitors to a major site for U.S. military veterans, researchers said Thursday.
Security firm FireEye Inc. discovered the attacks against IE 10 this week, saying that hundreds or thousands of machines have been infected. It said the culprits broke into the website of U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars and inserted a link that redirected visitors to a malicious web page that contained the infectious code in Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash software.
FireEye researcher Darien Kindlund said the attackers were probably seeking information from the machines of former and current military personnel and that the campaign shared some infrastructure and techniques previously attributed to groups in mainland China.
He said planting backdoors on the machines of VFW members and site visitors to collect military intelligence was a possible goal.
A VFW spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
A Microsoft spokesman said the company was aware of the “targeted” attacks and was investigating. “We will take action to help protect customers,” spokesman Scott Whiteaker said.
The latest version of the browser is IE 11, which is unaffected, and a Microsoft security tool called the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit also protects users who have installed that.
Previously unknown flaws in popular software are a key weapon for hackers and are sold by the researchers who discover them for $50,000 or more, brokers say.
They are most often bought by defense contractors and intelligence agencies in multiple countries, but some of the best-funded criminal groups buy them as well.
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
(Credit: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)
It's a classic game show conundrum: keep the gift you're given or swap it for a chance at winning something better. That's the idea behind Microsoft's new online gift exchange.
Each day from Monday, December 9, until Friday, December 20, Microsoft's gift exchange page will offer you a chance to win a surprise holiday present. After the gift pops up, Microsoft plays virtual Monty Hall by giving you the option to exchange it for something else. The grand prize of an online gift code worth $500 will end up in the stockings of 12 lucky winners.
To qualify, just fill out the form with your name, e-mail address, phone number, and zip code. Be sure to check the box to certify that you're a US resident. But you may want to uncheck the option to receive news and promotions from the Microsoft retail store.
A mystery gift then appears, which you can keep or swap for something else. On my first try, I opted to keep the gift and ended up with nothing but a message that said: "Bah Humbug. Sorry, you didn't win this time but you can still take advantage of our great holiday deals going on now. Don't forget to come back tomorrow and try you luck again."
Sure, Microsoft, I'll try again tomorrow. But I have a hunch I'll get the same message.
Like the 12 days of deals promotion, the online gift exchange is Microsoft's attempt to drum up excitement for its products among all us holiday shoppers.
Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED
In addition to being a conduit for iTunes, Apple’s little black streaming box also wants to be your new in-home radio station.
The perpetual hobby known as Apple TV was updated to software version 6.0 today. The firmware bump brings Apple’s new iTunes Radio service to the set-top box. Similar to Pandora, the service has radio stations built around genre, artists, and songs. You can also vote songs up or down. Subscribers to the $25/year iTunes Match will get an ad-free experience while everyone else will be subject to occasional ads, according to Apple.
The iTunes Radio service is a part of Apple’s massive iOS 7 update that landed on iOS devices Wednesday. The desktop iTunes App was also updated on Wednesday to 11.1 and includes iTunes Radio.
The service is Apple’s (much delayed) answer to similar radio features on Slacker, Rdio, and Spotify. By placing its radio service on the Apple TV, the company has linked iTunes Radio to the best — or at the very least, the most used — speakers in the house. While music from other apps can be pushed to the Apple TV via AirPlay, having a native app could give Apple a distinct advantage over competing products in homes with Apple TVs.
More importantly for the bottom line, it gives Apple the chance to sell more tracks from its iTunes music. Songs that are played in iTunes Radio show up in the services history on all devices and can be purchased from those devices including the Apple TV, thanks to today’s update.
Today’s update also brought AirPlay From iCloud, which lets guests stream their purchased music, photos, and videos stored in iCloud to another person’s Apple TV. If you bought World War Z on iTunes, you can now go to a friend’s house with an Apple TV and watch it there without having to log into their Home Sharing account or store it on your phone. It’s all streamed from iCloud.
by Roberto Baldwin
Follow @strngwys on Twitter.
If you’re a Flickr member but you haven’t been using the Flickr iPhone camera app(Free), you may just start doing so after you get your hands on its new filter-rich update and other added features.
iPhone camera apps are plentiful, but the new Flickr Mobile App seeks to up the standards with a fresh set of eighteen filters and photo effects to choose from. Now before you yawn, you should know that not only can you scroll through and preview filters to see how they will affect your selected photo, but the new feature also allows you customize applied filters to get the look you want.
In the new update you can tap on the pencil icon of a filter and then pinch to adjust the vignetting and/or blur the background or edges of an image.
In the new update you can tap on the pencil icon of a filter and then pinch to adjust the vignetting and/or blur the background or edges of an image.
For advanced shutter bugs, the mobile app includes exposure, color balance, levels, sharpening and cropping tools so you don’t have to open your images in another app to edit them. If you’re looking for even more professional editing, tap on the crop tool and you get yet another set of tools for rotating, flipping, and cropping an image to one of four aspect ratios, e.g., 4:3, 1×1, and 16×9. And as with previous versions of the app, you can upload photos to your Flickr account for public or private viewing.
If all these controls sound like too many bells and whistles, then just tap the magic enhancement tool and you’ll more than likely get results better than your original shot, and sufficient enough for sharing.
It seems with this latest update Yahoo! is making clear that it’s still squarely in the photo sharing business along side the popular Instagram. Let us know what you think of the new upgrades.
It's a dream that Carl Dietrich, the company's co-founder, CEO and CTO, has been working at steadily since at least 2006.
Terrafugia is perhaps just a few regulations and one very powerful battery away from clearing most of the hurdles it needs to create a flying car that consumers in the market for the equivalent of a super luxury sedan could afford.
With a cruising speed of 100 miles per hour in the air and gas mileage of about 35 to the gallon on the ground, Terrafugia's first model of flying car exists already.
The Transition is basically a small general-aviation airplane that can fold up its wings with the push of a button. It runs on normal automative gasoline — about 30% less expensive than aviation fuel (its range is about 410 miles plus a 30-minute reserve). Fly the Transition to a small airport, land, and the wings withdraw in less than a minute. Its propeller disengages and its rear-wheel drive turns on. At that point, you're street legal and ready to roll. At home, the Transition is designed to fit within a single-car garage.The next generation from Terrafugia, the follow-up to the Transition, should prove a bit more universally affordable.
Google’s primary search domain for Palestine has seemingly been hacked, with the standard Google search interface for the region being replaced by a political message from its hackers.
From the information available so far, it doesn’t appear that Google’s own servers were hacked — instead, it seems that Google’s Palestinian domain was hijacked and redirected to another server altogether. How that was done, exactly, is unclear. One current theory is that Google’s top-level domain provider for the region was compromised, allowing hackers to point the domain somewhere else.
“uncle google we say hi from palestine” taunts the defaced page, “to remember you that the country in google map not called israel. its called Palestine”
Here’s a screenshot of the defaced page as it appeared this morning:
Credited to a Domino’s Pizza franchise in the UK, a prototype or publicity stunt pizza delivery drone whizzes through the skies outside London to bring two pizzas to a waiting customer. While debates rage over whether it is real, whether Domino’s really intends to pursue the concept, and if it is even legal; there are some interesting questions for the logistics community.
The drone supplier, Aerosight, is an innovator in aerial photography, using unmanned video drones to capture stunning images and videos for film makers, advertising, and broadcast media. Just as the military have adapted surveillance drones to carry weapons, why not a civilian application to carry small packages?
The practicality of widespread use of drone delivery devices is limited. If the application were to become popular, it would drive congestion overhead with the potential for midair collisions – though having a beer copter and a pizza drone collide and rain down pizza and beer at a college campus event may be seen by many as a positive mishap. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of some real applications.
One very real “cargo” opportunity for the drones comes to mind in post disaster response. Flying a drone into a flood area can aid responders in locating victims and identifying those with the most critical needs – and then providing some relief. Such a drone might carry a communications device and some basic medical supplies (like insulin) that can help save lives.
A document drone might shuttle paperwork between remote locations at a port or a large terminal operation. At the same time, the camera can provide location verification on trailers and containers and a security check while enroute.
While we watch the skies for flying pizza, enjoy the video above (or click here) and feel free to add comments on how we might apply drones to other social and disaster recovery problems. Keep in mind that until recently a commercial carrier making deliveries in space sounded fantastic – then came the SpaceX Dragon.
Google has been awarded a patent that could allow Google Glass users to unlock the screen using eye tracking.
As of now, a single side swipe across the high-tech spec's touchpad unlocks the device, but if the patent is any indicator, that may soon get even easier.
In the patent filing, Google details how a moving object could appear on Glass' projected screen, sort of like a screensaver, and unlock a wearable device when eyes align with the movement. In this case, we're assuming the "wearable device" the company refers to is its own Google Glass, but it notes wearable computers can be worn "under or on top of clothing or integrated into eye glasses."
In an attached picture, the company uses an image of a bird flying back and forth (see below). When one's eyes follow the bird's movement, the technology recognizes the alignment and unlocks the device.
The same concept applies to text scrolling across the screen.
"The computing system may determine that a path associated with the eye movement of the user substantially matches a path associated with the moving object on the display and switch to be in an unlocked mode of operation including unlocking the screen," Google said in the filing.
The speed of the moving object on the screen could also accelerate or decelerate, and the technology would detect the eye's corresponding response to those changes and in turn unlock the screen, the filing said.
By Samantha Murphy
Mozilla is teaming up with Taiwanese company Hon Hai Precision Industry — better known as Foxconn — to launch a new device running the Firefox OS.
Mozilla confirmed the partnership to Reuters and although the company wouldn't share the exact nature of the device, it is believed to be a tablet. Mozilla is expected to unveil the plans at Focus Taiwan on June 3.
Mozilla has already signed partnerships with Alcatel (TCL), Huawei, ZTE and LG for Firefox phones but this would be its first tablet initiative.
Foxconn makes most of its money from Apple but is reportedly looking to diversify its customer base. It already makes Android devices but this would be its first foray into the Firefox OS space.
Firefox OS is just one of the class of operating systems vying for a fourth or fifth spot in the smartphone ecosystem. These platforms — which also include Ubuntu Touch and Tizen — are primarily targeting emerging markets and first-time smartphone buyers.
What do you think of Foxconn getting into the Firefox OS space? Let us know in the comments.
Photo via Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images
Source - Mashable
Coffee With Tim Cook Charity Auction Ends With $610,000 Bid.
A charity auction that offered up coffee with Apple chief Tim Cook closed this week at $610,000.
The chance to have coffee with Cook at 1 Infinite Loop pulled in 86 bids, with the winner pledging more than half a million to chat with Apple's CEO.
The winner - and a friend - only get 30-60 minutes with Cook, so that's about $10,000-$20,000 per minute, depending on how chatty Cook feels that day.
The auction, hosted by Charitybuzz, kicked off in late April, and quickly racked up over $100,000 in bids. Charitybuzz valued the meeting with Apple's CEO at $50,000, but Apple fans clearly felt he was worth much more.
Proceeds from the Cook auction will go to The RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, as will a number of other Charitybuzz auctions, including a tour the SpaceX Center in Los Angeles and a meeting with Elon Musk, which went for $42,500.
"We're truly amazed by the results of Tim Cook's remarkable donation. Sincere thanks goes out to Charitybuzz's community of socially conscious bidders here in the U.S. and overseas, whose generosity has helped us raise an incredible amount for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights," Coppy Holzman, Charitybuzz CEO and founder, said in a statement. "With the support of cultural icons from Hollywood to Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley, we are thrilled to have amassed more than one million dollars this spring for the RFK Center's powerful work."
Charitybuzz did not release details about the winning bidders. Don't expect to hear about it, either. According to the auction rules, "the winner cannot blog, social network, talk to press, write about, take pictures or record during the experience in any way due to security regulations."
The winner will also sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) upon arrival at Apple headquarters. The time and date for the sit down will be agreed upon in the coming days, but must happen within a year. Travel and accommodation costs are not included.
There are actually 147 auctions on Charitybuzz that will benefits the RFK Center. After three weeks, the first wave of auctions closed this week, raising more than $1.1 million for its global human rights programs. To date, the RFK Center's annual auctions at Charitybuzz have raised more than $4.6 million for human rights over six years.
"The RFK Center's annual auctions empower our human rights advocacy around the world, from courtrooms to classrooms, from Cambodia to California," said Kerry Kennedy, president of the RFK Center. "We are enormously grateful to our generous donors and to all those whose support will help us carry forward Robert Kennedy's dream of a more just and peaceful world."
Cook's auction tied the record for highest winning bid on Charitybuzz, which was set by a 2013 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster auctioned in March 2013 for $610,000.
Cook, meanwhile, is reportedly scheduled to have a more stressful sit down next week. According to Politico, the Apple CEO will appear before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation on May 21 for a hearing about "offshore profit shifting and the U.S. tax code." The witness list for that hearing is not expected to be released until Friday, but an Apple spokesman told Politico that the company has been working with the committee.
According to Bloomberg, Apple avoided $9.2 billion in taxes by funding a dividend and stock buyback program.
Source: PC Mag