Businesses

Magic Leap Raises $794 Million To Accelerate Adoption of Secretive AR Tech (roadtovr.com) 51

An anonymous reader writes: A massive new $794 million Series C investment in secretive AR startup Magic Leap puts the company among the world's most valuable startups, now reportedly valued at $4.5 billion. The company has aggressively teased what they believe to be revolutionary augmented reality display technology, allowing a mixture of the real and virtual dimensions in a way previously not achieved. Although they've played coy to the public, offering little more than bold claims, investors like Alibaba, Google Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures have bought into the company's vision to the tune of $1.39 billion in total raised by Magic Leap thus far. Also at Network World, which notes that their demo must be amazing.
Sci-Fi

CIA: 10 Tips When Investigating a Flying Saucer (cia.gov) 54

coondoggie writes: You may not associate the Central Intelligence Agency with historical UFO investigations, but the agency did have a big role in such investigations many years ago. This week the agency posted an article called 'How to investigate a flying saucer." The release is part of a series of old documents dredged up as a nod to the return of The X-Files to TV this weekend.
Transportation

TSA: Gun Discoveries In Baggage Up 20% In 2015 Over 2014 (networkworld.com) 500

coondoggie writes: There was a 20% increase in firearm discoveries at TSA airport checkins from 2014's total of 2,212. It's an astounding number really, but the details get worse. The TSA goes onto say 2,653 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than seven firearms per day. Of those, 2,198 (83%) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 236 airports; 12 more airports than last year. Last year a TSA spokesman, when asked of the TSA has a theory on why so many more guns are being brought onboard airlines, Tweeted “The vast majority of passengers just tell law enforcement, ‘I forgot.’ We continue to remind passengers they can check them.”
Wireless Networking

Verizon Vows To Build the First 5G Network In the US (networkworld.com) 103

alphadogg writes: Verizon says it will have the first 5G network in the U.S., a promise it probably can't fulfill until 2020 but will start working at this year. Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo made the pledge Thursday on the company's fourth-quarter financial results call. He also repeated the company's plans for so-called 5G trials this year.
Microsoft

Microsoft Open Sources Edge JavaScript Code, Plans Linux Port (windows.com) 92

colinneagle writes: One month after promising to release the JavaScript engine of its Edge browser, Microsoft has proven good for its word and then some. Not only is it releasing the code, it's planning a Linux port. The company uploaded the code to GitHub and announced its plans via a blog post by Gaurav Seth, principal PM manager for Chakra, which is what they're calling the JavaScript engine. "Today, we are excited to share with you that we've just made the sources for ChakraCore available under the MIT License at the ChakraCore GitHub repository," he wrote. "Going forward, we'll be developing the key components of Chakra in the open." With the release, you can build ChakraCore on Windows 7 SP1 or above with Visual Studio 2013 or 2015 with C++ support installed, Seth said. Of course, Edge is more than just the Chakra engine, but this could result in a back port to Windows 7. He also said Microsoft is committed to bringing it to other platforms, starting with Linux, and invited developers to "help us in the pursuit either by letting us know which other platforms they'd like to see ChakraCore supported on, or even by helping port it to the platform of their choice."
United States

Should the US Change Metal Coins? (networkworld.com) 702

coondoggie writes: It may be time for the United States to rethink how the smallest parts of its monetary system — the penny, nickel and dime – are made. According to a report this week from watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office, since 2006 the prices of metals used in coins have risen so much that the total production unit costs of the penny and nickel exceed their face value resulting in financial losses to the U.S. Mint.
Transportation

Airbus Rolls Out Anti-Drone System (networkworld.com) 168

coondoggie writes: The Airbus anti-drone system employs infrared cameras, radar technology and sensors to spot and track drones over six miles away, the company says. If the incoming drone is considered suspicious, the system can use electronic signals to jam the drone's communications and more: “Based on an extensive threat library and real-time analysis of control signals, a jammer interrupts the link between drone and pilot and/or its navigation. Furthermore, the direction finder tracks the position of the pilot who subsequently can be dealt with by law enforcement. Due to the Smart Responsive Jamming Technology developed by Airbus Defence and Space, the jamming signals are blocking only the relevant frequencies used to operate the drone while other frequencies in the vicinity remain operational. Since the jamming technology contains versatile receiving and transmitting capabilities, more sophisticated measures like remote control classification and GPS spoofing can be utilized as well. This allows effective and specific jamming and, therefore, a takeover of the UAV,” the company stated.
Wireless Networking

802.11ah Wi-Fi Standard Approved (networkworld.com) 160

alphadogg writes: A new wireless standard that extends Wi-Fi's reach down into the 900MHz band will keep the 802.11 family at the center of the developing Internet of Things, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced today. 802.11ah, combines lower power requirements with a lower frequency, which means that those signals propagate better. That offers a much larger effective range than current Wi-Fi standards, which operate on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, and lets the newer technology penetrate walls and doors more easily.
United States

NORAD's Amazing 60-Year Santa Tracking History (networkworld.com) 90

coondoggie writes: The National Archive blog takes a look at the background of the nation's premier defense unit's 60 years of tracking of Santa as he travels around the globe delivering his Christmas goodies. Colonel Harry Shoup began the tradition in 1955, after receiving a phone call from a child expecting to reach Santa Claus. The misdirected call was the result of the child reversing two numbers of a Santa Line phone number printed in a Sears advertisement, according to the National Archives.
PlayStation (Games)

Developer Claims 'PS4 Officially Jailbroken' (networkworld.com) 133

colinneagle sends word that a developer has claimed to have achieved a jailbreak of the PlayStation 4. Networkworld reports: "If you have a PS4 and want to run homebrew content, then you might be happy to know developer CTurt claimed, "PS4 is now officially jailbroken." Over the weekend, CTurt took to Twitter to make the announcement. He did not use a jail vulnerability, he explained in a tweet. Instead, he used a FreeBSD kernel exploit.

Besides posting "an open source PlayStation 4 SDK" on GitHub, CTurt analyzed PS4's security twice and explained PS4 hacking. CTurt updated the open source PS4 SDK yesterday; he previously explained that Sony's proprietary Orbis OS is based on FREEBSD. In the past he released the PS4-playground, which included PS4 tools and experiments using the Webkit exploit for PS4 firmware version 1.76. To put that in context, Sony released version 3.0 in September. However, CTurt claimed the hack could be made to work on newer firmware versions.

Other PS4 hackers are reportedly also working on a kernel exploit, yet as Wololo pointed out, it is unlikely there might be more than proof-of-concept videos as the developers continue to tweak the exploit. Otherwise, Sony will do as it has in the past and release a new firmware version. In October 2014, developers nas and Proxima studied the PSVita Webkit exploit, applied it to the PS4, and then released the PS4 proof-of-concept. Shortly thereafter. Sony pushed out new firmware as a patch."
Security

FBI: Just Don't Call Them Backdoors (networkworld.com) 347

sandbagger writes: The FBI still wants backdoors into encrypted communications, it just doesn't want to call them backdoors, and it doesn't want to dictate what they should look like. Tech companies [says FBI Director James Comey] 'need' to change their business models – by selling only communications gear that enables law enforcement to access communications in unencrypted form, he says, rather than products that only the parties participating in the communication can decrypt. He also says tech companies should just accept that they would be selling less secure products.
United States

Ex-US State Dept. Worker Pleads Guilty To Extensive Sextortion Case (networkworld.com) 60

coondoggie writes: The former U.S. Department of State man accused of hacking into hundreds of victims' e-mail and social media accounts, stealing thousands of sexually explicit photographs, and threatening at least 75 victims that he would post those photos and other personal information unless they agreed to his demands has entered a guilty plea to the nefarious attacks. Michael C. Ford, 36, of Atlanta, was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Aug. 18, 2015, with nine counts of cyberstalking, seven counts of computer hacking to extort and one count of wire fraud.
Crime

US Marshals Jump Into 'Cyber Monday' Mania (networkworld.com) 63

coondoggie writes: "Cyber Monday is generally thought to be the start of the online holiday shopping season. We would like to encourage shoppers who are already online in search of bargains to consider stopping by our auction website to bid on forfeited assets," said Jason Wojdylo, Chief Inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Division in a statement. These online auctions are designed to generate proceeds from ill-gotten gains to give back to victims, he stated. One auction includes a wine collection of approximately 2,800 bottles seized from once prominent wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence following his conviction of selling millions of dollars of counterfeit wine.
Government

FAA To Drone Owners: Get Ready To Register To Fly (networkworld.com) 195

coondoggie writes: While an actual rule could be months away, drones weighing about 9 ounces or more will apparently need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration going forward. The registration requirement and other details came form the government’s UAS Task Force which was created by the FAA last month and featured all manner of associates from Google, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and Air Line Pilots Association to Walmart, GoPro and Amazon. “By some estimates, as many as 400,000 new unmanned aircraft will be sold during the holiday season. Pilots with little or no aviation experience will be at the controls of many of these aircraft. Many of these new aviators may not even be aware that their activities in our airspace could be dangerous to other aircraft -- or that they are, in fact, pilots once they start flying their unmanned aircraft,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in announcing the task force’s results.
United Kingdom

UK's Gigaclear Launches 5 Gbps Fiber Broadband Service (networkworld.com) 91

An anonymous reader writes: Broadband service provider Gigaclear announced it will offer 5 Gbps internet service beginning next year. Most homes would be hard-pressed to consume data at this rate today, but these speeds will become necessary when over-the-top television services like Netflix and HBO GO become commonplace, television pixel densities grow to 8K (7680p X 4320p) at 60 to 120 fps, and the IoT connects every other home device to the internet. “We’re offering customers the chance to access absolutely phenomenal broadband speeds,” Gigaclear CEO Matthew Hare said in an official announcement. “To be clear, this is a premium service that gives the fastest Internet speeds in the country to those of our customers who want the best connection that they can get.”
Android

Microsoft's Plan To Port Android Apps To Windows Proves Too Complex (networkworld.com) 131

An anonymous reader writes: The Astoria project at Microsoft has failed because a breakthrough was needed to overcome the complexity of the software development challenge. Microsoft tried to automate mapping the Android UI into the Windows 10 UI and to map Google services within the app such as maps, payments and notifications into Microsoft equivalents. Automated conversion of a UI from one platform to another has never been successfully demonstrated. When I first saw Microsoft's Android bridge at Build 15, I thought it was achievable. But project Astoria, as it is called, is much too complex. Drawing on my architectural knowledge of the underlying Microsoft/Lumia hardware that is very similar to Android phones.I concluded that in the context of partitioning the device or running a VM Microsoft would succeed. But Microsoft tried something much more ambitious. Rather than "failed," The Next Web reports that for now the project may have only been delayed.
Microsoft

Microsoft Kills Off Zune Music Service (networkworld.com) 66

alphadogg writes: It's one of those "You mean it was still alive?" moments: Microsoft today officially has killed off its Zune music streaming and download service. The company notified users in September that Zune services would be retired on Nov. 15. Microsoft has been phasing out its Zune brand for some time now, with Zune music service being morphed into Xbox music and then Groove music. Devices were discontinued in 2011.
Businesses

Even the CEO's Job Is Susceptible To Automation, McKinsey Report Says (networkworld.com) 176

colinneagle sends word that according to a new report it's not just blue collar workers who need to be concerned about being replaced with a robot, top execs should be worried too. According to Network World: "Global management consultants McKinsey and Company said in a recent report that many of the tasks that a CEO performs could be taken over by machines. Those redundant tasks include 'analyzing reports and data to inform operational decisions; preparing staff assignments; and reviewing status reports,' the report says. This potential for automation in the executive suite is in contrast to 'lower-wage occupations such as home health aides, landscapers, and maintenance workers,' the report says. Those jobs aren't as suitable for automation, according to the report. The technology has not advanced enough."
AI

With TensorFlow, Google Open Sources Its Machine Learning Resources (blogspot.com) 37

smaxp writes: Google has announced the open source release of TensorFlow, its machine learning software library. "TensorFlow has extensive built-in support for deep learning, but is far more general than that -- any computation that you can express as a computational flow graph, you can compute with TensorFlow (see some examples). Any gradient-based machine learning algorithm will benefit from TensorFlow’s auto-differentiation and suite of first-rate optimizers. And it’s easy to express your new ideas in TensorFlow via the flexible Python interface." This comes alongside some dramatic speed increases (PDF). The code is available at GitHub under an Apache 2.0 license. "Deep learning, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are all some of Google's core competencies, where the company leads Apple and Microsoft. If successful, Google's strategy is to maintain this lead by putting its technology out in the open to improve it based on large-scale adoption and code contributions from the community at large.
Businesses

Apple Wages Battle To Keep App Store Malware-Free (networkworld.com) 85

alphadogg writes: Apple is facing growing challenges keeping suspicious mobile applications out of its App Store marketplace. Over the last two months, researchers have found thousands of apps that could have potentially stolen data from iOS devices. Apple has removed some of affected apps since it was alerted by security companies. But the problems threaten to taint the App Store's years-long reputation as being high quality and malware free.

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