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  1. If you’ve ever pixelated an email address or blurred a phone number before putting an image onto the internet in order to protect someone’s privacy, I’ve got bad news for you: Researchers at the University of California-San Diego have found that the popular Photoshop redaction techniques are decodable such that the underlying text can be read. The researchers were able to recover text from a variety of redacted screenshots that they found online, said computer science professor Hovav Shacham by email. They were, for example, able to figure out the blurred email address in this screenshot of a conversation between a corrupt DEA agent and the then-CEO of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. It’s not the first time we’ve discovered that a Photoshop redaction tool doesn’t work as well as thought. In 2007, we found out that Photoshop’s “twirly” filter was reversible. A man had posted pornographic photos of himself with young boys to the internet, “twirling” his face to protect his identity, but was busted when Interpol untwirled his photo. View the full article
  2. Browser plugins, especially Flash, have enabled some of our favorite experiences on the Web, including videos and interactive content. But plugins often introduce stability, performance, and security issues for browsers. This is not a trade-off users should have to accept. Mozilla and the Web as a whole have been taking steps to reduce the need for Flash content in everyday browsing. Starting in August, Firefox will block certain Flash content that is not essential to the user experience, while continuing to support legacy Flash content. These and future changes will bring Firefox users enhanced security, improved battery life, faster page load, and better browser responsiveness. Over the past few years, Firefox has implemented Web APIs to replace functionality that was formerly provided only by plugins. This includes audio/video playback and streaming capabilities, clipboard integration, fast 2D and 3D graphics, WebSocket networking, and microphone/camera access. As websites have switched from Flash to other web technologies, the plugin crash rate in Firefox has dropped significantly: View the full article
  3. Seagate today announced a new line of hard drives with up to 10TB of capacity for desktops computers, network-attached storage (NAS) and surveillance systems. The high-capacity drives, dubbed the Guardian Series, represent a 2TB increase... Read more about Seagate unveils 10TB BarraCuda on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  4. Poodlecorp (yes, you read that right) has threatened to take the über popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go offline August 1 through a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the game’s already fragile servers. The group plans to take the servers down for 20-plus hours — “basically an entire day” — using the same method they’ve used on other attacks Poodlecorp has laid claim to — a massive botnet consisting of 600,000 devices ranging from DVRs to dedicated servers. View the full article
  5. Yahoo is writing down the value of its Tumblr acquisition by $482 million, citing lower projections for the social network's future performance, the company announced Monday. This comes after Yahoo took a $230 million similar writedown last quarter on its Tumblr buy. In total, Yahoo has now written down more than half of Tumblr's value since acquiring it for $1.1 billion in 2013 -- rendering Mayer's biggest acquisition to date effectively worthless. Part of that writedown stems from Yahoo's struggle to meet an ambitious $100 million sales goal for Tumblr -- and part can be traced to the falling value of similar publicly traded social media companies like Twitter. So much for Mayer's famous promise at the time of the acquisition "not to screw it up." View the full article
  6. Seagate today announced a new line of hard drives with up to 10TB of capacity for desktops computers, network-attached storage (NAS) and surveillance systems. The high-capacity drives, dubbed the Guardian Series, represent a 2TB increase over the capacity of previous Seagate hard drives in the consumer and small business category. The Guardian series consists of the BarraCuda Pro desktop drive, the Seagate IronWolf for NAS applications and the Seagate SkyHawk for video surveillance systems. Seagate also said it has resurrected the Barracuda brand for its line of consumer desktop and laptop hard drives, a name it did away with in favor of the "Desktop Hard Drive" brand a few years ago. Seagate changed the spelling to "BarraCuda." The standard BarraCuda line now includes hard disk drives with spindle speeds ranging from 5,900rpm to 7,200rpm and capacities ranging from 500GB to 10TB. The drives also come with 16GB to 64GB of DRAM cache, depending on the overall capacity, and are being offered in 2.5-in. laptop form factors and 3.5-in. desktop sizes. The thinnest 2.5-in. BarraCuda drive is 7mm thick, small enough for ultrathin notebooks; it offers up to 2TB of capacity. The updated BarraCuda drive line will offer sustained data transfer rates of up to 210MB/s. The 2TB models will retail for $81 and the 3TB models will sell for $100. Seagate also announced a new drive for PC "enthusiasts," the BarraCuda Pro, which comes in capacities of up to 10TB. The drive has a 7,200rpm spindle speed and a data transfer rate of up to 220MB/s, and comes with a five-year limited warranty. That's more than twice the typical two-year BarraCuda HDD warranty. "BarraCuda Pro offers the highest PC Compute spin speed at 7200 RPM for 3.5-in. HDD drives on the market," said Chris Deardorff, a Seagate senior marketing strategist. The drive also comes with Seagate's Self-Encryption Drive (SED) technology, which password protects data on the drive but also allows users to crypto-erase it by changing the encryption key, ensuring no one can access it. The BarraCuda Pro can sustain up to 55TB of data writes per year, according to Deardorff. The 10TB BarraCuda Pro will retail for $535. Another hard drive announced today in the BarraCuda lineup is the FireCuda, which is aimed at gamers and comes in both 2.5-in. and 3.5-in. Form factors, and either 1TB or 2TB of capacities. The FireCuda is a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD), which means it uses a small amount (8GB) of NAND flash as a caching element to increase performance up to five times over standard BarraCuda drives. Data is first written to the NAND flash prior to the hard drive, which enables higher performance considering the spindle speed is just 5,900rpm. The drive has a maximum sustained read rate of 210MB/s. Seagate has been selling SSHDs since 2011, so the FireCuda is not new technology. The FireCuda will retail for $85 for a 1TB drive, $110 for the 2TB model. For small businesses, Seagate has refreshed its NAS drive lineup with the IronWolf brand. The IronWolf is aimed at NAS devices with one to 16 drive bays and comes with up to 10TB capacity and Seagate's AgileArray (formely NASworks) software on it. AgileArray technology supports error recovery controls, power management and vibration tolerance for reliability when used in multi-bay NAS devices. The IronWolf, which is rated for up to 180TB of writes per year, sports a higher resiliency than other Seagate drive models with a one million meantime before failure (MTBF) rating, according to Jennifer Bradfield, a Seagate senior director of product marketing. The drive can also power down into a sleep mode while not being used, sipping only .8 watts of power compared with the 6.8 watts of power it uses while active. The IronWolf HDDs offer a Rescue Data Recovery Service plan that protects against data loss from viruses, software issues, or mechanical and electrical breakdowns in a NAS or RAID environment. A failed drive can be sent back to Seagate where its in-house "Rescue Service" will attempt to retrieve data. The drive also comes with a three-year limited warranty. The IronWolf 10TB HDD will retail for $470. Seagate's new SkyHawk HDD lineup is a rebrand of the previous Sv35 series video surveillance hard drive. The new 7,200rpm drive comes with up to 10TB of capacity for storing up to 10,000 hours of HD video. It also comes with ImagePerfect firmware from MTC Technology. The firmware, which allows the drive to be used by motion-sensing cameras, powers down the drive when it's not in use to reduce power consumption and heat generation. It then powers up quickly to provide uninterrupted recording. Like the IronWolf, the SkyHawk drives use rotational vibration sensors to help minimize read/write errors, and it can support up to 64 HD cameras -- more than any other drive on the market, according to Aubrey Muhlach, Seagate's Worldwide Surveillance Segment marketing manager. Designed for modern, high-resolution systems running around the clock, SkyHawk drives also come with a data recovery services option. The SkyHawk HDD supports up to 180TB worth of data writes per year, has a one million hour MTBF and a three-year limited warranty. The 10TB SkyHawk HDD will retail for $460. Source: ComputerWorld View the full article
  7. A newly disclosed vulnerability could allow attackers to seize control of mobile phones and key parts of the world's telecommunications infrastructure and make it possible to eavesdrop or disrupt entire networks, security experts warned Tuesday. The bug resides in a code library used in a wide range of telecommunication products, including radios in cell towers, routers, and switches, as well as the baseband chips in individual phones. Although exploiting the heap overflow vulnerability would require great skill and resources, attackers who managed to succeed would have the ability to execute malicious code on virtually all of those devices. The code library was developed by Pennsylvania-based Objective Systems and is used to implement a telephony standard known as ASN.1, short for Abstract Syntax Notation One. "The vulnerability could be triggered remotely without any authentication in scenarios where the vulnerable code receives and processes ASN.1 encoded data from untrusted sources," researchers who discovered the flaw wrote in an advisory published Monday evening. "These may include communications between mobile devices and telecommunication network infrastructure nodes, communications between nodes in a carrier's network or across carrier boundaries, or communication between mutually untrusted endpoints in a data network." View the full article
  8. There have been several updates all throughout Lunarsoft over the past month. From the Frontpage, to the Forums, the Wiki, and even the server itself. This resolves several issues and helps ensure we can... Read more about Lunarsoft Updates so far in 2016 on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  9. Yes, we know. Our smartphone batteries are bad because they barely last a day. But it’s partially our fault because we’ve been charging them wrong this whole time. Many of us have an ingrained... Read more about You’ve been charging your smartphone wrong on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  10. Yes, we know. Our smartphone batteries are bad because they barely last a day. But it’s partially our fault because we’ve been charging them wrong this whole time. Many of us have an ingrained notion that charging our smartphones in small bursts will cause long-term damage to their batteries, and that it’s better to charge them when they’re close to dead. But we couldn’t be more wrong. If fact, a site from battery company Cadex called Battery University details how the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones are sensitive to their own versions of “stress.” And, like for humans, extended stress could be damaging your smartphone battery’s long-term lifespan. If you want to keep your smartphone battery in top condition and go about your day without worrying about battery life, you need to change a few things. Don’t keep it plugged in when it’s fully charged According to Battery University, leaving your phone plugged in when it’s fully charged, like you might overnight, is bad for the battery in the long run. Once your smartphone has reached 100% charge, it gets “trickle charges” to keep it at 100% while plugged in. It keeps the battery in a high-stress, high-tension state, which wears down the chemistry within. Battery University goes into a bunch of scientific detail explaining why, but it also sums it nicely: “When fully charged, remove the battery” from its charging device. “This is like relaxing the muscles after strenuous exercise.” You too would be pretty miserable if you worked out nonstop for hours and hours. Skye Gould/Tech Insider The batteries in these phones get stressed out, too. In fact, try not to charge it to 100% At least when you don’t have to. According to Battery University, “Li-ion does not need to be fully charged, nor is it desirable to do so. In fact, it is better not to fully charge, because a high voltage stresses the battery” and wears it away in the long run. That might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to keep your smartphone charged all day, but just plug it in whenever you can during the day, and you’ll be fine. 24M Don’t shoot your smartphone batteries, either. Plug in your phone whenever you can It turns out that the batteries in our smartphones are much happier if you charge them occasionally throughout the day instead of plugging them in for a big charging session when they’re empty. Charging your phone when it loses 10% of its charge would be the best-case scenario, according to Battery University. Obviously, that’s not practical for most people, so just plug in your smartphone whenever you can. It’s fine to plug and unplug it multiple times a day. Not only does this keep your smartphone’s battery performing optimally for longer, but it also keeps it topped up throughout the day. Plus, periodic top-ups also let you use features you might not normally use because they hog your battery life, like location-based features that use your smartphone’s GPS antenna. Source: C2H 50H/YouTube Keep it cool Smartphone batteries are so sensitive to heat that Apple itself suggests you remove certain cases that insulate heat from your iPhone when you charge it. “If you notice that your device gets hot when you charge it, take it out of its case first.” If you’re out in the hot sun, keep your phone covered. It’ll protect your battery’s health. Source: Business Insider View the full article
  11. Snapchat has proven to be a great resource for people to connect all over the world through the power of their smartphone. However, a sizeable user base also brings with it a sizeable opportunity for advertising revenue, and that's exactly what the company appears to be promoting - just maybe not in the way you'd expect. The company has filed a patent for a system using object recognition to serve users sponsored filters. The technology outlined by the company would identify items in pictures, then offer users image overlays from related brands. It's essentially tailored advertising on a pretty unnecessary in-depth scale. Despite the application including details about the object-spying described above, its primary purpose is to offer a more general system of recognition-based photo filters. View the full article
  12. Netflix released its earnings report for the second quarter today. The company was one of 2015's best performing stocks, but has seen its share price stumble in recent months on projections of slower growth. Today it reported $1.97 billion in revenue and net income of $41 million. Adding to worries about its growth, the company added just 1.54 million subscribers, well below its own projections of 2.5 million new customers. The stock is down around 14 percent in after-hours trading. In its letter to investors, Netflix blamed the weak subscriber growth on churn, meaning older customers exiting. "Our global member forecast for Q2 was 2.5m and we came in at 1.7m. Gross additions were on target, but churn ticked up slightly and unexpectedly, coincident with the press coverage in early April of our plan to un­grandfather longer tenured members and remained elevated through the quarter," Netflix wrote. "We think some members perceived the news as an impending new price increase rather than the completion of two years of grandfathering." The company stuck to its guns on the price hikes, writing that "while un­grandfathering and associated media coverage may moderate near­ term membership growth, we believe that un­grandfathering will provide us with more revenue to invest in our content to satisfy members, thus driving long­term growth." View the full article
  13. After a $1.2 billion deal fell through, Opera has sold most of itself to a Chinese consortium for $600 million. The buyers, led by search and security firm Qihoo 360, are purchasing Opera's browser business, its privacy and performance apps, its tech licensing and, most importantly, its name. The Norwegian company will keep its consumer division, including Opera Apps & Games and Opera TV. The consumer arm has 560 workers, but the company hasn't said what will happen to its other 1,109 employees. The original deal, announced in February, reportedly failed to gain regulatory approval. While expressing disappointment that it was scrapped, Opera CEO Lars Boilesen says "we believe that the new deal is very good for Opera employees and Opera shareholders." The acquisition was approved by Opera's board, and the company now has 18 months to find a new name, according to Techcrunch. The company actually makes more of its $616 million in revenue from Opera TV and the other consumer division products that it's keeping in the deal. "For Opera shareholders we are selling approximately a quarter of the company for $600 million, which is an attractive price for this part of our business," Boilesen says. View the full article
  14. Web browser Maxthon has been caught sending detailed information from it users, such as their browsing history and other installed applications to the China based company that develops the software. Maxthon is a freeware web browser for Windows, OS X and Linux, developed by Chinese company Maxthon Ltd based in Beijing. It is also available on Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android platforms as Maxthon Mobile. It has an estimated worldwide market share of 1% and about 2-3% of all Chinese internet users browses using Maxthon. Polish security researchers from the company Exatel that the browser regularly sends a ZIP files to server in China. The ZIP file contains all kinds of data about the system of the user and the internet history. Information about the system includes the CPU, memory, the adblocker status and the startpage. Also the URL of all visited websites, Google searches and a list of installed application on the system including their version number is sent to the Chinese company. View the full article
  15. The European Commission has added new antitrust charges against Google in the areas of search and advertising as it continues to investigate into the Internet search giant. On Thursday, the EC charged Google in a “statement of objections” that it has placed restrictions on the ability of certain third party websites to display search advertisements from the search giant’s competitors. Google places search ads directly on the its search website but also as an intermediary on third party websites through its “AdSense for Search” platform, according to the Commission. As a result, the company has prevented existing and potential competitors, including other search providers and online advertising platforms, from entering and growing in this lucrative area, according to the Commission. By European Commission rules, a statement of objections is a formal step in its antitrust investigations in which the commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them. The Commission also added a supplementary statement of objections to earlier charges that it leveled against the company in April 2015 that Google used its dominant position to favor its own comparison shopping product in search results View the full article
  16. Earlier this week, we learned that the insanely popular mobile gaming app Pokémon Go requested full access to users' Google accounts when activated on iOS. Niantic said that it was a mistake, and the issue was corrected in an update for the app. Yesterday, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) sent a letter (PDF) to game creator Niantic asking the company to explain that issue as well as some of the other privacy choices in the game. The letter notes that Pokémon Go collects profile and account information, location data, and data "obtained through Cookies and Web Beacons." The game also asks permission to do things like control vibration and prevent the phone from sleeping. Franken wants to know what information and functions exist to support and improve services, and what's being gathered for "other purposes." View the full article
  17. On Wednesday, Microsoft claimed that its Edge browser was the only one of the big four browsers—which also includes Chrome, Firefox, and Opera—to offer 1080p resolution while playing Netflix content. A quick test of all four browsers by PCWorld proved this claim to be true, with the other three browsers capped at 720p. Currently, Opera runs Netflix at a maximum resolution of 720p. Why this matters: Microsoft’s been busy trying to rehabilitate the reputation of Edge, which suffered after the browser initially offered slower performance than its competitors, while also lacking the plugins and extensions that other browsers, particularly Firefox, have offered for years. Performance in Edge has since improved, and it has began offering a few plugins for public use. These are important steps for Microsoft if Edge is to avoid the fate of Internet Explorer, which became known as the browser users loved to hate. View the full article
  18. Despite a recent appellate court ruling that said sharing passwords could be grounds for prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, streamers who might be sharing Netflix or Hulu passwords don’t really have anything to be worried about. Here’s a summary of the case: David Nosal worked as a director for a headhunting firm called Korn Ferry International. He left the firm to start his own competing business and had been using the login information of his former assistant who still worked at Korn Ferry to download valuable proprietary information from the company’s database. Nosal was charged with conspiracy, theft of trade secrets and three computer fraud counts and later sentenced to prison time, probation and nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines. View the full article
  19. T-Mobile has announced today that for its next T-Mobile Tuesday promotion, Pokemon Go players — in the wake of what has been no less than an explosive launch — will receive free, unlimited data for the mobile game. Set to take effect July 19th, the Un-carrier will give its customers a full year’s worth of data that won’t count against their high-speed plan… Here’s the full list of perks that customers will receive, including free Lyft rides and 50% off select accessories. Oh, and what would a Pokemon Go adventure be without a free Wendy’s Frosty, too? View the full article
  20. Nearly all of the top product and business leaders at Vine, Twitter’s three-year-old short-form video service, have left the company in the past four months — many of them in the past few weeks. And while Vine remains culturally interesting and an “important” part of Twitter’s strategy, it seems to be struggling. Vine’s recent executive departures include its head of engineering, head of business development and operations, head of user experience, head of editorial and all three of its product managers. Almost all of the departures coincide with Vine’s appointment of a new general manager, Hannah Donovan, which was announced at the end of March. Donovan started in May. View the full article
  21. It's not hard to get a capacious solid-state drive if you're running a server farm, but everyday users still have to be picky more often than not: either you get a roomy-but-slow spinning hard... Read more about Samsung’s 4TB SSD is built to replace your hard drive on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  22. Pokémon Go isn’t reading your Gmail. The makers of the hot, new mobile game are fixing a bug that allowed the app to gain full access to users’ accounts, when they signed in using their Google account information. The company claims it didn’t mean to ask for such elevated permissions, and it will now correct this. The app had the power to access your Gmail, your Google Docs, your Google Photos, as well as track your location history, your search history, and more. And this was in addition to the app’s already necessary high-level access to things like your current location, camera, and phone sensors, which are needed for gameplay. The issue was isolated to iOS and only affected those who signed in using Google. Pokémon Go offers two ways to sign up – you can create a “Trainer Club” account by creating a username, or you could sign up using your existing Google account. For those who chose the latter option, the iOS version of the game would then gain full access to your Google account. Not only is that a privacy nightmare of sorts, there was also some concern over Pokémon Go’s close ties to Google, which had built its business on data-mining from its users. Pokémon Go’s creator, Niantic Labs, was spun out of Google/Alphabet last year, and Google still holds a stake in the company. View the full article
  23. Google Fiber launched business class service in November of 2014, after taking a little heat from startups running into the residential Google Fiber terms of service regarding server operation. Originally, the company offered symmetrical gigabit service with an SLA for $100 per month. But in a new announcement by the company, Google Fiber notes that it's introducing three new business class pricing tiers, and in the process raising its rates for business-class customers. Under the new pricing, the company is now offering symmetrical gigabit broadband for $250 per month, a $150 per month mark up suggesting its former $100 price point likely wasn't fully paying the bills for user consumption. But in addition to bumping the price on its 1 Gbps business class offering, Google Fiber says it's offering a 250 Mbps tier for the same price gigabit service formerly was ($100). Users also now have the option of a new 100 Mbps business-class service tier at $70 per month. View the full article
  24. Is a PewDiePie video a commercial or an independent review? That's what the Federal Trade Commission wants to make sure Warner Bros. Home Entertainment makes clear after settling with the agency over charges of not disclosing who they paid to advertise a 2014 video game. Warner Bros. was slammed by the FTC for not clearly representing that Felix Kjellberg (popularly known on YouTube as PewDiePie) and other online "influencers" were paid as part of a marketing campaign for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Those involved in the campaign were paid between hundreds to thousands of dollars for their participation, created sponsored videos that garnered more than 5.5 million views, received advance-release copies of the game and were told how to promote it. The arrangement required the influencers to promote the game positively, and to not disclose any bugs or glitches found while playing. View the full article
  25. It's not hard to get a capacious solid-state drive if you're running a server farm, but everyday users still have to be picky more often than not: either you get a roomy-but-slow spinning hard drive or give up that capacity in the name of a speedy SSD. Samsung may have finally delivered a no-compromise option, however. It's introducing a 4TB version of the 850 Evo that, in many cases, could easily replace a reasonably large hard drive. While it's not the absolute fastest option (the SATA drive is capped at 540MB/s sequential reads and 520MB/s writes), it beats having to resort to a secondary hard drive just to make space for your Steam game library. Of course, there's a catch: the price. The 4TB 850 Evo will set you back a whopping $1,500 in the US, so it's largely reserved for pros and well-heeled enthusiasts who refuse to settle for rotating storage. Suddenly, the $700 2TB model seems like a bargain. Even if the 4TB version is priced into the stratosphere, though, it's a good sign that SSDs are turning a corner in terms of viability. It might not be long before high-capacity SSDs are inexpensive enough that you won't have to make any major sacrifices to put one in your PC. Source: EnGadget View the full article
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