Manish Singh

Adobe recognizes major Flash vulnerability, will patch it today

Flash, a product that has only been in the press for bad reasons lately, is back in the news. For a similar reason, of course. Adobe has issued a security bulletin to notify its users about a vulnerability -- referred to as "the most beautiful Flash bug for the last four years" by hackers -- in all versions of its Flash product for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The vulnerability, first spotted by security firm Trend Micro, is the aftermath of a mega security breach at Hacking Team. The infamous group that offered hacking services to spy agencies was hacked earlier this week, and most of its internal documents -- consisting of 400GB of emails, source code, client lists, invoices etc -- were made available to the public.

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Hacktivist group AnonOpsIndia hacks BSNL website, days after hacking nation's PAN database

In what appears to be a protest against the Indian government’s stand on net neutrality and the way it is handling Digital India, hacker group AnonOpsIndia hacked BSNL Telecommunications' website on Friday. Hours after the breach, the website is still affected.

AnonOpsIndia, which seems inspired by the major hacktivist group Anonymous, describes itself with a similar reverence and asks to be referred to as "Anonymous India". This is the third major hack the group has managed to pull off, after hacking the nation's PAN database and a coal-sector website last week.

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Reddit faces yet another user revolt, mods shut down several top subreddits

An insurrection is underway on Reddit, one of the largest websites on the planet. The juggernaut network which maintains thousands of open groups -- called subreddits -- dedicated to news, science, technology, entertainment, and sports among others is facing a backlash from moderators of many top subreddits over the company’s decision to fire Victoria Taylor, one of the key figures over at Reddit’s extremely popular AMA subreddit.

Victoria Taylor joined Reddit in 2013 as its director of communications. As several moderators bring to our attention, Taylor headed AMA’s celebrity sessions. She relayed users’ questions to high-profile figures and transcribed their responses to the website. Her sudden and unexplained departure has left moderators with a feeling of betrayal.

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Windows 10 Build 10158 for PC featuring dark theme-laced Microsoft Edge, cooler Cortana available to download

Another week, another Windows 10 build. Microsoft today announces that it is releasing a new Windows 10 build -- which might as well be the last build before RTM -- to Insiders in the Fast ring.

With this new build dubbed 10158, Microsoft aims to bring stability to the desktop operating system and make things smoother and pleasant to look at. In addition, the company is also finally bringing the Microsoft Edge branding while also introducing some new features. Cortana is becoming cooler than ever, too. Below is a brief summary of everything you get from the new build.

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Arguably the best Anti-Virus for Windows is giving pirates a chance to turn into legit users for free

For years companies have been battling with vicious groups to prevent them from “cracking” their products and services and use them for free. Microsoft, for instance, has implemented several measures including product activation, to make it harder than ever to crack the Windows operating system versions and its Office suite. Several game companies have devised systems where, until a user connects and verifies the game title by them, it won’t play. But in a world where everyone is trying to crack down on piracy, a company is embracing it and giving pirates a chance to turn into legit users.

Security firm Malwarebytes announces Amnesty program, under which it is allowing users to enter the license keys they gleaned for cheap from shady dealers, or simply illegally obtained it from somewhere, and issuing them with a new serial key. The new license key in question will be unique to the user, the company says, and it will offer a 12-month subscription to the premium (paid) version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware security suite.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10149

Windows Phone enthusiasts, you'll be pleased to know that Microsoft has just released a new Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build -- dubbed 10149 -- for all Windows 8.1 and up powered Lumia smartphones. The new build brings improvements to the user interface, renames Project Spartan to Microsoft Edge, while also offering improvements to Cortana, Photos app alongside plenty of bug fixes.

Build 10149 will be seeded to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring today. The company is finally making it possible to jump to the next iteration of the developer preview of its impending mobile operating system without the need of having to flash the phone again. It notes that users will be able to directly snag updates from their existing builds instead of having to flash back to Windows Phone 8.1 first. Following is a list of new features and improvements you get with the new build.

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OnePlus Two featuring Snapdragon 810 and USB Type-C launching on July 27

Chinese firm OnePlus made a splash last year with its One flagship smartphone. At $299 (now available for $249) off-contract price point, the OnePlus One smartphone offers top-of-the-line hardware specs, which helped it earn the title of "flagship killer of 2014" from critics and users alike. The company announces today that it will be launching a new flagship smartphone called the OnePlus Two next month.

The company says that it will be hosting an unusual VR event on July 27 at 10PM ET to launch the OnePlus Two. "In our industry, product launches tend to be the same. An auditorium, a keynote, and a seated audience. For the OnePlus 2 launch, we didn’t want that barrier between us and you," OnePlus wrote in a blog post today.

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Researchers implement Japanese paper cutting techniques to develop stretchable plasma screens and batteries

For years, we’ve been using motherboards that are designed to be flat, coming in square and rectangular shapes. But one challenge with such design is that when you bend it, the circuit board breaks and becomes less efficient due to tearing. But that is about to change, thanks to the long inspirational Japanese paper cutting techniques.

A University of Michigan research team lead by Professor Nicholas Kotov has found out a way to implement Japanese paper cutting techniques -- otherwise known as kirigami -- to a new type of flexible conductor, which can be used to make electrodes and wires. The new type of flexible conductor for the first time enables us to think of gadgets that could bend, and even transform.

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Taylor Swift effect: Apple changes course, says it will pay labels and artists during free trial

It has been an eventful day for folks vested in the music industry, streaming business, and listeners alike. The day began with Queen of Pop Taylor Swift writing a public letter to Apple explaining why she isn’t putting her latest album “1989” to the impending Apple Music streaming service. And the day is closing with Apple addressing the issue and doing the right thing.

In a blog post, Swift noted that Apple’s decision to not pay labels and artists royalty for the first three months -- Apple Music will be a free trial to users -- is unfair. She said -- something which many people have nodded to since -- that three months is a long period, and it could mean a lot to indie artists.

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Xbox One gets backwards compatibility, will play over 100 Xbox 360 games

If you own an Xbox One gaming console and wanted to play Xbox 360 titles on it, Microsoft is granting your wish. At gaming conference E3, Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced that backwards compatibility is coming to the current-gen console.

At the event, the company demonstrated Mass Effect by Mike Ybarra, one of the most popular Xbox 360 titles, on the Xbox One console. The company notes that it is bringing “native” support for the old titles on the Xbox One. It will be bringing more than 100 such titles including Gears of War, Super Meat Boy, Halo Reach, Halo 3, and Borderlands, this holiday.

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Chrome for Mac now more resource efficient, lighter on battery consumption

It’s no secret that Chrome for Mac hogs more resources than Safari. The browser by Google has been receiving heat from experts and users alike for shortening their laptop's battery life by 2-3 hours. The good news is that the company finally seems committed to resolving these glitches.

Earlier this month the Mountain View-based giant took its first major step at bringing improvements to its browser when it announced that Chrome will begin to automatically pause flash content on web-pages if a user hasn’t looked at it in a while. The company is now sharing other efforts it is making to improve Chrome.

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Researchers make breakthrough in aviation safety, devise airplane wings that self-heal cracks

The University of Bristol has devised a way that enables flight wings to self-heal the micro cracks they develop, providing a breakthrough in the safety measures in the aviation field. The research university, which has been working on this since 2008, says self-healing airplane wings could be introduced in the next five to ten years.

What’s fascinating about the self-healing phenomenon is that it takes inspiration from how the human body functions. When we get a cut, our body is able to clot the blood and heal the damage completely over time, and the airplane wing is also doing a similar thing. Except it is utilizing a liquid carbon healing agent instead of white blood cells, of course.

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I bought a $200 Android 'flagship' smartphone and it changed everything

A few weeks ago my one-and-a-half-year-old Nexus 5 started to misbehave. Its power button wasn't holding up well, forcing the phone to switch off a dozen times, while also making it a chore to turn the phone back on again. I realized the phone was on its last leg. I also have an iPhone 5s, but I mostly use it to listen to podcasts, take phone calls, and take photos. Suffice to say I'm an Android guy. With OnePlus announcing its plan to release the successor of its One flagship in Q3 later this year, and LG reportedly working on the successor to Nexus 5, I decided to purchase a cheap phone running Google’s software to keep my boat floating until these much-anticipated smartphones begin to trickle up on the market. This led me to purchase the recently launched $200 Mi 4i smartphone from Chinese conglomerate Xiaomi. After using it for a couple of weeks, I don't think I want to upgrade to a new phone this year.

The smartphone market has seen many new forces arrive in the last couple of years. These new players have changed the landscape entirely, pushing new phones with top-notch capabilities at an increasingly competitive price point. We now have plenty of options in both the low and mid-tier categories. The dirt-cheap $100 Moto E is a decent entry-level smartphone, and the $180 Moto G entices users looking for a more efficient phone. The Lenovo A7000 offers 4G LTE capability for less than $150, and $100 Android One smartphones from Micromax, Karbonn Mobiles, and Lava offer the up-to-date software and reasonably good specs. But I wanted a phone that offers a high-end processor and top-of-the-line hardware modules; Xiaomi was offering me just that.

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Microsoft introduces Music section in Windows Store as it continues to unify the shopping portal

Over the past couple of months, Microsoft has been aggressively trying to merge many of its digital stores into one convenient hub. The company is taking a major step in that direction today. Microsoft announces that it is introducing a Music section in Windows Store.

If you’re on the latest Windows 10 dev preview build dubbed 10130, and have the version 3.6.1068.0 of Music app installed on it, starting today you'll see a Music section in Windows Store. Upon clicking on which, you will be able to browse through new albums and top songs, as well as purchase them.

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Security firm Tiversa refutes allegations of hacking and extorting potential clients

Last month we reported that Tiversa, a security firm, was being accused of fraud by one of its former employees, Richard Wallace. In his testament, Wallace claims that the company was hacking potential clients to force them to buy its services. The firm has reached out to us to share its side of the story and shed more light on the matter.

The testimony, provided by Wallace in front of a Washington DC courtroom, also accuses Bob Boback, the CEO of Tiversa, of making his employees look for IP addresses of known identity thieves utilizing the company's ties to law enforcement agencies. The firm would then present these addresses to potential clients to scare them.

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