drunkdrone writes: A major security flaw affecting Bitcoin mining equipment from Bitmain has the potential to knock out more than half of the global Bitcoin network's hashing power, according to reports. Called Antbleed, the backdoor allows for the remote shutdown of Bitmain's Antminer equipment including its S9, T9 and R4 platforms.
More worrying is that the backdoor code can be found openly online, including on Pastebin and GitHub, and was described as "stupidly simple" by a source speaking to Bitcoin Magazine who tested the flaw on Antminer hardware.
Antbleed works as such: every one to 11 minutes, Antminer checks-in to a central server owned by Bitmain and hands over the equipment's serial number, MAC address and IP address. Bitmain's server then sends a message back, which is usually ''true''. Link to Original Source
drunkdrone writes: A Canadian start-up has developed a voice imitation programme capable of mimicking a person's voice after just a minute of listening to them speak.
Developed by AI firm Lyrebird, the algorithm uses machine learning to synthesise speech based on audio samples and is even able to replicate emotion.
Lyrebird's algorithm is capable of generating new voices from scratch as well as replicating those of others. After hearing an audio clip, the programme determines the defining feature or "key" to the person's voice and then uses this to generate words from scratch. It even varies the intonations it applies so that a repeated sentence doesn't sound the same way twice.
drunkdrone writes: A vigilante hacker is believed to be behind a new computer worm that's spreading through IoT devices to protect them against a particularly dangerous piece of malware known as Mirai.
The worm, known as Hajime, has infected some 100,000 internet-connected cameras, routers and other smart home systems over the past six months and continues to grow rapidly. However, the worm has yet to launch any form of attack, leading security experts to speculate that Hajime is the work of a white hat or "ethical" hacker out to stop Mirai in its tracks.
Hajime was first spotted in October 2016. From what security experts have observed, the worm is spreading to Mirai-infected IoT devices and blocking access to the device ports know to be targeted by Mirai, thereby preventing the malware from exploiting them.
drunkdrone writes: Who said pen and paper was dead? German scientists have developed a new type of ink that allows fully-functioning electronic circuits to be 'written' directly onto a surface from a pen. The technology could provide an inexpensive means of manufacturing printed circuits suitable for flexible smartphones, tablets and other radical gadget designs.
The circuits are ready to be used as soon as the ink dries and requires no additional processing, claim researchers from the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM).
Printed electronics are usually created through a process called 'sintering', whereby powdered metals are heated to form conductive electric circuits. Sintering is used to remove organic materials and fuse metal components in electronic inks, but because of the heat involved it can damage materials that are sensitive to high temperatures – for example paper and certain types of plastic.
The new hybrid inks remove the need for sintering altogether, allowing the electronics to quite literally be drawn on to the material.
drunkdrone writes: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has completed test flights of its prototype vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) X-Plane, an experimental, high-speed electric aircraft that can be deployed on missions without needing a runway.
The X-Plane, which is now officially recognised by the US military as the XV-24A, is powered by 24 fan propellers distributed across the wings and tail of the unmanned aircraft, which are driven by a 4,000 horsepower hybrid turboshaft engine.
The tests, which began in March 2016, involved a scaled-down version of the craft. Over the course of six flights, the demonstrator was used to test the X-Plane's flight systems, navigation, manoeuvrability, hovering, navigation and the craft's automatic take-off and landing capabilities.
drunkdrone writes: Scientists have developed a new type of "spray-on" digital memory that could be used to turn everyday items into programmable electronics. The device, which is roughly the size of a postage stamp, was created using 3D printing by researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
The technology is comparable to a four-bit flash storage drive and is flexible, meaning it could be used to add low-cost digital storage to paper, plastic and items of clothing. While it isn't enough to store films or music, it could be used for environmental sensors, trackable RFID tags and "in applications where low cost and flexibility are key," the researchers said.
This includes sensors that could be applied to groceries or medicine bottles to ensure they were being stored at the right temperature.
drunkdrone writes: Researchers say they have developed a new material that could pave the way for self-repairing smartphones, robots and other electronic devices. Scientists from the American Chemical Society claim that the material, which can stretch up to 50 times its usual size, is able to heal itself "like nothing has happened" even when cut in two.
The material is flexible, transparent and shares similar properties to human skin. When exposed to electrical signals, a current is generated that creates a chemical bonding reaction between molecules.
The most obvious applications for electronics devices seems to be self-healing displays, although lead researcher Dr Chao Wang is also exploring the possibility of a self-healing lithium-ion battery.
drunkdrone writes: In a final push to stop people using the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, Samsung will roll-out a firmware update that will completely disable battery charging. The update will be pushed to handsets before the end of the month, turning all remaining Note 7s into little more than an expensive paperweight.
drunkdrone writes: A formidable remote-controlled anti-riot vehicle called the Bozena Riot has been designed to make light work of angry mobs with a giant expanding shield and packing an arsenal of crowd dispersal tools.
Built by Slovakian company Bozena, the high-tech security system keeps law enforcement units safe with its shock-absorbing barrier, which can be expanded out to 7.5 metres to protect 36 officers and features a rising platform to give riot police an elevated view of their surroundings and provide tactical advantage against aggressors.
The shield has ports for firing non-lethal projectiles and is equipped with tear gas guns to "guarantee control of crowds" when things get dicey. Mounted loudspeakers can be used either to issue instructions to officers or to appeal to crowds, and the vehicle can optionally be equipped with smoke grenade launchers and a radio jammer for blocking mobile communications.
drunkdrone writes: Computer scientists in Italy are working on a new concept that could reduce the risks involved with storing your files on the cloud with a new system that disperses them across multiple remote locations – and they're calling it fog.
The idea of fog computing is that rather than having all your documents, images and other files stored in a single location, they are instead broken into pieces and spread across several servers on a public or private network. As a result, no one file exists in its entirety in one place, which in turn means there is no single location for hackers to target.
The system uses standard internet protocols and works by endlessly bouncing data packets around routers.
drunkdrone writes: Sony is working on an innovative solution that could solve one of smartphone ownership's biggest headaches – running out of battery. A recently discovered patent reveals that Sony is working on a system that allows one phone to be charged by someone else's wirelessly.
Unearthed by What A Future, the document describes a system whereby power is transferred between the two devices using an antenna system similar to that used by NFC chips.
Much like a Bluetooth or a wi-fi hotspot, the system would be capable of scanning for nearby compatible devices and letting users suck power from them. Once a corresponding device came within range, instructions would appear via a "graphical user interface" (i.e. some form of notification) where the other party could presumably accept or deny your request to borrow some juice.
drunkdrone writes: Police in China are being equipped with new high-tech weaponry to help them fight back against illegal drone use. Officers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have been issued rifles that emit radio-jamming signals to knock quadcopters and similar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) out of the sky.
Rather than disabling the drones completely — which would cause them to fall out of the sky and potentially injure people on the ground — the scoped rifles put the drones into a controlled decent so they can land without being damaged.
It does this by emitting radio frequencies that are the same as the ones drones use to communicate with the operator's control unit, commonly in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ranges.
drunkdrone writes: Google has already indicated that we'll see a Google Pixel 2 at some point in the not-too distant future, although precisely when that is remains to be seen. According to fresh reports, Google has already picked out codenames for its next-generation flagships, suggesting development is well underway.
An Android open source project page spotted by Android Police suggests Google will continue the marine life theme for the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, which have reportedly been given the codenames 'Muskie' and 'Walleye' respectively.
Both are the names of freshwater fish, similar to the pseudonyms given to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, which were known internally as 'Sailfish' and 'Marlin' during development. Android Police reports that Walleye refers to the smaller Pixel handset in this case, whereas Muskie – a nickname given to the muskellunge fish – alludes to the larger Google Pixel 2.
drunkdrone writes: The US Military has a new firearm in its itinerary: Meet RAMBO, the 3D printed grenade launcher that could revolutionise the way soldiers are equipped for battle.
RAMBO, or the Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance to give it its proper name, is based on the US Army's M203 underslung grenade launcher for firearms including the M16 and M4A1 carbine. But RAMBO is unique in that all of its parts save for the springs and fasteners have been produced by 3D printing â" and that includes the grenades themselves.
The breech-loaded grenade launcher consists of 50 individual parts, the majority of which were developed through the additive manufacturing process. Additive manufacturing is a form of 3D printing whereby layers of material, commonly photopolymer resin, are printed on top of each other to create a 3D object.
drunkdrone writes: In a bid to clean up New York's air, the US state is launching a rebate programme that will reward $2,000 (Â£1,600, â1,900) to anyone who buys an electric car before 1 April. The incentive will be available from 1 April to anyone who purchases a zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
According to the Associated Press, New York officials want to make electric vehicles a more financially-viable alternative to traditional cars, which are currently the largest contributor to the state's greenhouse emissions.