Category Archives: News

News Roundup for 9/23/16

500 million Yahoo Accounts Breached

USA Today reports that the accounts were stolen in 2014, and security researchers have been hearing rumblings of a hacker trying to see them since about August.

In an article from Business Wire, Yahoo believes it was a state actor that did it.

Of course, the scary thing here is that many users use the same passwords for everything, and although the passwords stolen were hashed, we all know that won’t last forever. Of course, Security Questions and Dates of Birth were also stolen, combine that with the other information, and you can see why this is so big of a worry.

Google Allo

I’m a bit confused on why Google spent time on Allo, sure, a the smart assistant seems pretty sweet, but why not put that into “OK Google” instead of a proprietary messaging app. Is there really a need for another messaging app? The reviews aren’t terribly good,

Snowden says that it’s a honeypot for US surveillance Efforts

The Verge Review says it’s “fine”.

Gigabit Speed for Rural users using Power infrastructure?

AirGig – Uses Power lines for 1G data. Not how you think though. They put a wireless device on top of the powerline.

ArsTechnica says that it’s very experimental. AT&T says it’s not even on their technology roadmap yet. The antennas are inexpensive though, and it would be a huge boost for rural areas who are historically underserved.

News update–2016-08-08

I have the nastiest habit of finding tidbits, then writing a little blurb about them, and never ever posting them. You see, the idea is to make it a regular feature of the site, I mean, we can’t all read every bit of news, right?

These are still pretty good, although they were from early July.

Federal Government releases their strategies to recruit new CyberSecurity talent (Link to FedScoop)

“The government has hired 3,000 people for cyber security jobs in the first half of the current fiscal year”, and plan on hiring 3,500 more before year end.

There’s even a Scholarship for Service (SFS) program called CyberCorps offering scholarships, and stipends, funded through the National Science Foundation.

After graduation you have to work for a Government Agency, or if approved, a State, Local, Tribal or Territorial Government, or a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, in a position related to cybersecurity. You have to work for them for a period equal to the length of the scholarship, with each academic year equaling one calendar year.

Intel is planning on selling “Intel Security” (formerly McAfee). (Link to Knowbe4.com)

Evidently Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO, thinks that antivirus is crap. He’s not the first to say so, with so many new variants of malware popping up, AV companies are having a hell of a time keeping their signatures up to date.

Court Rules that Microsoft can’t be forced to turn over emails stored abroad. (Link to The Guardian)

Will companies move emails all around the world? Does this set the stage for a neutral country to set up some sort of data service?

Fallout 4 Release Day Eve News

If you’re like me, you woke up this morning, and checked your preload status for Fallout 4, just to make sure you would be ready to go. Next stop? News of course! Today (Monday 11/9/15) is the day that reviewers are allowed to post their impressions of the title.

This weekend I dropped the $120 (2 copies at $60 each) on Fallout 4 this weekend just so I would be pre-loaded. Both my wife and I play, and I have to ashamedly admit, she’s going to play it a whole lot more than I will. That doesn’t mean I’m not still pumped about it though!

Reading this review on the Verge, which is very positive on the gameplay and the world of Fallout 4, “what Fallout 4 adds to the world is heart”, stating that for the first time they cared about their character.

What scared me there was that “the game also features the series’ infamous technical problems, with frustrating glitches and bugs that often pull you out of the experience at best, and at worst, lose hard-won progress”

The bugs they point out sound primarily related to NPC’s being difficult, characters talking over each other, blocking doors, with one case mentioned of loading a game and not being able to move.

Fallout_4_cover_art

This PC World Review isn’t quite as glowing. While the Verge liked that the game had the same feel as Fallout 3, Hayden Dingman from PC World didn’t enjoy that part of the game. He goes on to say that the world is huge, but that most of the locations aren’t worth exploring, and it can feel pretty monotonous.

One of the new features I’m looking forward to is the crafting. When I saw the system on the E3 release video, I immediately became excited about the idea of customizing the weapons. Dingman doesn’t care much for it, and says that he ended up using the same weapons and armor most of the game.

He also points out a number of bugs / glitches, many with the NPCs. I guess that shouldn’t come as any surprise, being familiar with the other Fallout Games.

News Roundup Episode #3

Spiceworks is adding an App Center

Ken Hess at ZDNet wrote “It’s unanimous: The Spiceworks App Center is a hit“.

You can see the home page at the Spiceworks App Center Page.

I use Spiceworks, but it’s one of those applications where there is so much that it can do, I feel like I’m only scratching the surface. With the introduction of the App Center, many people will be able to develop extensions, apps, that integrate into Spiceworks. It has the potential to be glorious!

Windows 9 gets unveiled tomorrow?!

I have absolutely not been following the developments around Windows 9. I read “Why Microsoft’s engineering changes will be the real Windows 9 (Threshold) story” by Mary Jo Foley, and it learned about the release. The changes they have made to testing user acceptance and utilization of new features is pretty interesting. So long as they can pull it off, I’m really looking forward to the “closer to one month” milestone updates, rather than 3 – 6 months as it is now.

More Space for OneDrive Users

This is pretty old news, but I hadn’t seen it yet. Brand new one drive accounts now come with 15Gb of Storage (previously 7GB). If you have a Office 365 home / personal / university subscription, you have 1TB (previously 20GB). Existing accounts should see the additional storage.

Criolock says it’s cryptolocker – the prevalence of Crypto-Ransomware

Now we have malware masquerading as other malware? Pretty interesting behavior.

Home Depot didn’t invest in Security – Lesson for other businesses?

Might be good to keep handy if you need to justify some security spending at your place of work.

News Roundup Episode #2

OneDrive now Supports files up to 10G

Yea, 10G. I’m a huge fan of OneDrive, and I’ll be honest, the file size limit hasn’t been an issue for me. There was one time I was trying to share a big video file, but besides that, no issues.

You can read more here on the Microsoft OneNote Blog.

Of course, this isn’t close to the 5TB file size supported in Google Drive. Still, it works for me.

Also, if you’re an IOS user, a new account gets you 30Gb of free storage.

OneNote Supports writing on Android

I am soooo late on this one. I noticed it quite awhile ago after an update. This was probably the one thing that I most wished OneNote would add, and they did. Writing can just be so much faster than trying to type. Now I just have to work on my handwriting so I can read it.

Here’s the Office Blog post for that one.

Z Nation Ratings

The first episode of Z Nation got 1.6 Million viewers, according to Zap2it. Although I’ve seen a number of show where there is a steep decline in viewership after the first episode.

I found it interesting that the show was Syfy’s “most socially acquired scripted series premiere ever across all social metrics”. Evidently, it was “#4 in the number of tweets in both broadcast and cable”.

Some “The Walking Dead” News

Get your Apocalyptic Sound track ready …

imageIn the episode “Alone”, Season 4, Episode 13, we open up with a flashback to Bob’s life before he met the group. The song that’s playing in the background is “Blackbird Song”. It’s an awesome sounding, haunting song. Thanks to WetPaint, who posted to explain a bit about the song and motivation when Lee DeWyze wrote the song. It’s also available on Amazon as a Single

The Walking Dead is one of the most pirated shows on BitTorrent? Giant Freakin Robot sums up an article from Variety .

I’m sure this comes as no surprise, with it’s incredible popularity, you can see why it would be the most pirated shows. Not only are there about a trillion people who don’t have AMC, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who download it anyway, just so they can re-watch it. Game of thrones was number 1 on the list, which also isn’t a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan, but I’m personally astonished by how popular Game of Thrones is.

Now for my last bit of news, it’s a spoiler for the comic book if you haven’t read it …

Spoiler-Warning

Did Kirkman give away a spoiler?

I ran across this post on Zap2it, Kirkman is on an upcoming episode of The Writer’s Room on Comic Book Resources, and he’s talking about Rick losing his hand in the comic book. Kirkman says “Yea, , but spoiler alert, he loses a hand in Season 5, so …”

I absolutly don’t believe him Smile I’ve heard him more than a few times discuss how he wishes that he hadn’t written it that way in the comic book because of all the difficulties it adds to writing the comic. I just don’t see him repeating that in the series. I would bet a hug with a walker that he doesn’t do it.

Google Fiber in 34 more cities, just not mine.

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Bah! I’m not on the list! Heck, I’m not even near anything on the list! When I saw that Google announced 34 cities, I was expecting big cities, but it’s just smaller cities surrounding the areas where it’s going to be available, or where it’s already available. Of course, that makes perfect sense. After all, it’s easier to run some fiber right down the road rather than into another state. One day I hope to see my city listed there.

Of course I’m really curious to see what happens with the other internet providers in those areas, I don’t want to trade one Monopoly in for another, but I do want my bandwidth.

The image below links to a full sized shot of the list, or you can see the list for yourself at Google Fiber’s Expansion Plans.

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Google is making a Modular Smart Phone?

 

imageI have to admit that there isn’t a whole lot in the mobile market that makes me excited, but this does. Google and a company called ATAP are creating a modular smart phone under the title “Project Ara”. This is just a terrific idea that I really hope takes off.

In a post titled “Google to Launch Mobile Smartphones in 2015” Paul Thurrott reports that the idea is to “ship a $50 so-called “gray phone” that includes a screen, battery, microprocessor and Wi-Fi module”. Then the user can buy components to buy modules to add features and capabilities to your phone.

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The standards for the phone are open, so anyone can develop modules, and they are only limited to what they can fit into the block.

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So long as you don’t smash it, or wash it, this could be the last phone you buy. The CPU can be upgraded, the screen can easily be replaced, it’s just such a great idea.

Right now the they are planning on releasing three sizes of the form factor, Endo, and the designs look really cool. Of course, I hope the design is something you can swap out too, if it’s the last phone I buy I don’t want to be stuck with something that’s cool now, but may not age well. Anyone remember parachute pants?

Weekly News Roundup

The Wil Wheaton ProjectI bet this will be cool, SyFy is carrying a “topical comedy show hosted by actor, blogger and chanpion of geek culture Wil Wheaton” starting May 27th. It’s supposed to be a working title, but it sounds just find to me. Mark your calendars! Wil has a long article that explains some of the trials and tribble-ations that went into pitching, and creating the show. It’s a good read.

Computers are pretty good at Captcha – As Scooby Doo would say, Ruh Roh Shaggy! Now if computers can figure out Captcha, which I only get right about half the time, why can’t they figure out my handwriting?

Now you can email to OneNote! – Yea baby! Saw this on the office blog.  Go into the “email settings” page (linked from the article) and after making sure you’re logged in with the correct live account, register the “from” address. Then email sent to “me@onenote.com” goes into your onenote notebook, in the “quick notes” (unfiled on android) section.

MS Fixes WSUS for Windows 8.1 – Microsoft released a fix for WSUS 3.2 so that Windows 8.1 Devices can now be patched. The 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 updates will be able to be deployed for 120 days. Apply by August 12th. After that window, separate security updates will be made available to get you there.

Peter Bright has an interesting article over at arstechnica Stating why he believes this to be an indication that Microsoft won’t be issuing any more service packs. Personally I don’t see it that way, I think the 8.1 update was a “aww crap we put something out that no on likes, so let’s make people a bit happier”. There was such an outcry from folks about the Metro style interface, and the lack of a start button, that Microsoft felt they had to do something. I will say, I’m looking forward to the update that let’s you get rid of the Metro interface.

Ask your friends for entertainment recommendations via Facebook – Over on Mashable, Kurk Wagner highlights an upcoming feature to facebook that allows you to ask friends for recommendations on what to watch, read, or listen to. Sounds pretty good, depending on your friends tastes of course.

I personally never enter stuff like that on facebook. There’s already so many sites where I can list things I like, and rate movies and books, it just seems a little redundant to tell yet another service what I like. The article says it’s coming out in late 2013, but since he just posted the article a day before I read it, I assume he means 2014.

Microsoft slashes Windows XP custom support prices just days before axing public patches – Up to 90% for large corporations. Read more over at Computerworld.

Feature Photo courtesy of laffy4k, unmodified under a Creative Commons License.