BetaNews Staff

The Internet of Things will aid criminals and burglars

gift hacker criminal present

The billions of interconnected devices, which are expected by 2020, could be an invaluable tool in the hands of ‘offline’ criminals, a new study suggests.

The main reason behind this claim is the fact that these devices are not designed with privacy or data security in mind.

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Google needs to streamline its TV product line

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Initially, Google’s new Chromebit add-on appears hugely impressive. The HDMI dongle simply plugs into the back of your TV and provides you with a fully-fledged Chrome OS computer for less than $100.

However, when you line up Chromebit next to the search engine giant’s other products, it looks like another piece in an increasingly confused jigsaw puzzle. Google’s product line-up includes Android TV, Chromecast, the Nexus Player and now Chromebit.

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To store or not to store, that is the cloud question

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Eighty feet below street level, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds one the world’s most secure vaults. With a comprehensive multichannel security system, tons of steel, concrete and a 24-hour monitoring service, the gold housed within is virtually theft-proof.

With such stringent security measures, it would be foolish to store items less precious than gold inside. However, when it comes to storing personal items on the cloud, 'precious' is a highly subjective notion. Although the items stored within a safe and on the cloud are often similar, there is no universal code for what users should be storing and digitally encrypting. What’s important to one user may not be so important to the next, and, with such unpredictable tendencies, cloud storage providers should allow users to decide what needs the most protection.

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New aluminum-ion battery can be fully charged in a minute

Apple, Microsoft and Google need just one mobile improvement -- battery life

A new fast charging battery tech could mean the end of inconvenient waits when it comes to juicing smartphones up.

It’s always a major pain when you realize you forgot to charge your handset, and haven’t much time before you leave the house -- meaning you will likely run out of battery well before the day is out. And while there are quick-charge technologies out there, the new battery -- an aluminum-ion affair rather than lithium-ion power pack -- can be charged in just a minute flat, as opposed to a matter of hours.

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Twitter rolls out 'retweet with comment' feature

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Twitter has rolled out a revamped retweet feature, allowing users to post comments on other people’s tweets without having to shorten the original post.

If the above statement is a bit confusing, that’s because I tried, and most likely failed, to explain a somewhat complex feature with a single sentence.

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Facebook usage linked to depression

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If you’re feeling a bit depressed lately, try logging off Facebook. No, seriously, get off Facebook.

According to a recent study, there is a link between people becoming depressed, and them scrolling through Facebook all day. It’s not the social media itself which causes depression though, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

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Is the UK government's plan to fund IoT and Smart City apps a waste of £40 million?

British money mobile

With Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s announcement that the government will pledge £40 million in funds to develop applications for the Internet of Things and Smart Cities as part of the 2015 budget, it got me thinking about how this funding could be utilized to best effect.

Every app development provider around the country must be putting together their proposals as you read this, but is this really the best use of tax-payer’s money?

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DevOps can help minimize downtime, fix problems sooner

businessmen laptop notebook

With businesses becoming increasingly reliant on applications to generate revenue, it’s essential that downtime and glitches are kept to a minimum.

Research from IDC and AppDynamics has shown that infrastructure failure costs $100,000 per hour on average in this 24 hour service environment. Although it’s practically impossible for businesses to prevent application failures completely, the time taken both to predict and fix them is one factor that can be improved.

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Robots will steal our jobs and we just have to embrace it

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Why aren’t the politicians doing anything about it? Why aren’t we talking about it more? No it’s not immigration, the economy or terrorism. It’s bigger and, readers, you created it.

I am talking about the idea that within the next 20 years, half of all jobs on this planet will automated. Those with routine low skilled jobs will be the first to go followed by huge swathes of white collar workers. Yes, the robots are coming.

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Malicious Pirate Bay clones scamming pirates

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When The Pirate Bay was taken down in late 2014, IsoHunt announced the Open Bay Project, a way for internet users to collaborate and make sure the torrenting service was always available on a domain.

Now that The Pirate Bay is back online, it looks like some of these pet projects are being used by hackers as a way to steal users’ bank information. The hackers are using the iFrames plugin for WordPress to embed malicious content on WordPress sites without the current update.

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South Korea looking to scrap ActiveX payment requirement -- bad news for Internet Explorer

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In 1999, South Korea pushed a law that forced online vendors to adopt Microsoft ActiveX, in order to utilize the SEED cipher developed by the Korea Information Security Agency (KISA) for online transactions.

Even though at the time it seemed like a good decision, the government is now looking to scrap the system and create new online encryption that works with all browsers and supports SSL.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge buyers complain of screen defects

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge customers are complaining that their handsets are being received with scratched displays and dead pixels.

Although the flagship device is not supposed to launch officially until 10 April, T-Mobile has begun shipping the smartphones in advance.

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The technology that could have prevented the Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 tragedy

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In the wake of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525’s tragic crash, there has been much talk about how this will affect the aviation industry going forwards. Will all airlines adopt the "rule of two" cockpit procedure? Should there be more intense scrutiny of pilots’ mental health?

The debate over what can be done to limit a repeat of the catastrophe will rage on and on, but away from the human causes and aftermath, there is an existing technological solution that could potentially have saved the lives of all 150 on board.

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Google will continue to dominate search ad market in 2015

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Google is looking at another dominant year in the search ad market, with estimated spending to reach $81.59 billion in 2015 according to research firm eMarketer.

Holding a solid 54.7 percent of the search ad market in 2014, Google will drop 0.2 percent of the total search ad revenue. This does not mean a decrease in revenue though, going from $38.42 billion to $44.46 billion in one year.

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HP wants to replace data centers with The Machine

Servers and Storage

The Machine is the name of a project HP is developing for data centers based on several novel technologies. At this distance, The Machine seems like a fantasy as it’s still at least two years from its launch as a unified product.

If the project is successful, it may replace what we consider computers now; the promised changes to server power draw alone would be revolutionary. It’s initially intended for data centre use, but established, expensive technologies tend to trickle down to individual consumers eventually. Examples of the trickle down effect of technologies first widely implemented on a business level are numerous, and include tech such as solid state disks, 64 bit operating systems, and multiple cores. It may be that the technologies HP is developing will become ubiquitous in the industry for both consumers and businesses.

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