Qualcomm has developed its own fingerprint sensor for smartphones with the aim of tapping the increasing demand for biometric security on phones. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sense ID, announced on Monday at Mobile World Congress, isn’t the usual capacitive touch pad we’ve become accustomed to seeing on high-end smartphones. Instead Qualcomm is using ultrasonic waves to scan all of the ridges and wrinkles of your digits.
Why ultrasound? Qualcomm says it can do a far deeper analysis than the 2D image created by a fingerprint mashed up against a capacitive sensor. It can look beyond the grime and sweat on your grubby fingers and even penetrate beneath the surface of your skin to identify unique 3D characteristics of your print. It’s the same biometric technology developed for government security applications, Qualcomm claimed.
Why the ability for cell carriers to find a means of seamless offload to wifi is so important.
JDSU’s Location Intelligence business unit Arieso is shedding some light on who would most benefit from mobile data rollover: Turns out it is the 1%.
Don’t blame it on the rich — it’s the 1% of LTE users that are consuming 56% of all mobile data, the same 1% that JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) found were responsible last year. At that time, the test and measurement company noted that LTE users were consuming ten times as much data than they did on 3G devices. (See LT-Extreme: 4G Subs Use 10X More Data and iPhone 5 Is Top Euro Data Hog.)
This is the fifth annual report Arieso, which JDSU acquired in 2013, has released. This year it studied where this extreme data use was happening as well and found that 50% occurs in .35% of the geographic area covered by a wireless operator. Even more interesting — or concerning, depending on your point of view — is the fact that 73% of mobile data in these so-called “extreme hotspots” is consumed in residential and industrial areas — places you’d think WiFi predominates. (See JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M.)
Samsung announced new models of its flagship Galaxy S series of smartphones and a mobile payment system designed to compete with the one that Apple debuted a few months ago.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will come with Samsung Pay, which the company said will debut in the second half of the year, protected in part by new security systems it calls Samsung KNOX. Samsung Pay is designed to be device-, merchant- and card-issuer agnostic, Samsung said. Apple Pay has been adopted by most major banks and at least 200,000 retailers so far, giving it a significant head start in creating a truly secure mobile wallet that is both more convenient and much safer than traditional credit cards.
The Edge is the first Galaxy smartphone to include an extra curved bezel along the length of the phone’s right edge that can either extend the main screen or display customized streams of additional information. The Edge design first debuted as a variant of last year’s “phablet” model from Samsung, the Note 4. Both new phone models will use version 4 of Corning Gorilla Glass, and come in multiple colors. Both models’ rear-facing camera will include a 16-megapixel sensor, a new quick-launch capability and a range of options to further hone photo quality.
HTC has just announced the Vive, a virtual reality headset developed in collaboration with Valve. It will be available to consumers later this year, with a developer edition coming out this spring. The company has promised to have a significant presence at the Game Developers Conference next week, where devs will have a chance to play with Valve’s VR technology.
The Vive Developer Edition uses two 1200 x 1080 displays that refresh at 90 frames per second, “eliminating jitter” and achieving “photorealistic imagery,” according to HTC. The displays are said to envelope your entire field of vision with 360-degree views. The company says in a press release that it’s the first device to offer a “full room-scale” experience, “letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings.”
Actually it turns out that the oil industry has known that fracking causes earthquakes as far back as 1980. Since this was a problem, they simply pretended it wasn’t. In other words, business as usual.
Thanks to a revolutionary new energy-extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” America is suddenly feeling a lot like the Beverly Hillbillies. Over the past five years, Al-Jazeera reports, oil production across the country has increased by 3.7 million barrels daily, while the U.S. has also become the world’s largest producer of natural gas.
But a growing body of evidence suggests that the operations involved with fracking may be responsible for the increasing number of earthquakes being recorded around the country. In Oklahoma, researchers recorded an unprecedented 585 magnitude-3 earthquakes in 2014 alone, with other spikes noted in states in the Midwest and Southwest involved in energy extraction.
You’ve got to give them credit, though, for the sheer audacity and brazenness with which they pulled it off. The question now becomes, now that we know, what are we going to do about it?
Big news for fans of Open Source tools for cloud virtualization.
The open-source Docker container application virtualization technology is moving forward today with the availability of three new orchestration tools—Machine, Swarm and Compose—that were first announced at the DockerCon EU conference in December.
Docker Machine is a technology that enables the Docker Engine—the application virtualization piece of Docker—to be quickly deployed on any server. Docker Swarm provides Docker container clustering capabilities, and Docker Compose enables multiple containers to be pulled together to run a single logical application.
“These are the first versions that a broad set of users could get their hands on to download to use in their environments,” David Messina, vice president of enterprise marketing at Docker Inc., told eWEEK.
Imagine a future in which automated drones have mini hangars atop telephone poles and fly the lines …
I am a droneman for the county and I fly the main road
Searchin’ in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin’ in the wire, I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita droneman is still on the line
New rules proposed by the Obama Administration could open unmanned flight to a variety of commercial uses, ultimately embracing a future where the small aircrafts help maintain power distribution lines, tend to crops or deliver packages.
But the potential to use drones - technically, “unmanned aircraft systems” (UAS) - has been a subject of interest in the utility industry for years. It’s a natural fit when utilities spend millions of dollars inspecting power lines which are elevated and often run in hard-to-reach places.
“Every time we fly [in a helicopter], it’s about $1,200 to fly a mile,” said Jamie Exon. The utility inspects more than 26,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines, but can purchase a drone for less than $20,000.
The Federal Communications Commission today voted to preempt state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their territories.
The action is a year in the making. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in February 2014 his intention to override state laws designed to protect private cable companies and telcos from public sector competition. Wheeler took his cue from the federal appeals court ruling that overturned net neutrality rules; tucked away in that decision was one judge’s opinion that the FCC has the authority to preempt “state laws that prohibit municipalities from creating their own broadband infrastructure to compete against private companies.”
Nineteen states have such laws, often passed at the behest of private Internet service providers that didn’t want to face competition. Communities in two of the states asked the FCC to take action. The City of Wilson, North Carolina and the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, Tennessee filed the petitions that led to today’s FCC action. Each offers broadband service to residents and received requests for service from people in nearby towns, but they alleged that state laws made it difficult or impossible for them to expand.
Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. These updates address a vulnerability that could be used to circumvent memory randomization mitigations on the Windows platform.
Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2015-0310 exists in the wild, which is being used in attacks against older versions of Flash Player. Additionally, we are investigating reports that a separate exploit for Flash Player 18.104.22.1687 and earlier also exists in the wild.
More: Adobe Security Bulletin
Superfish certificate password cracked.
I extracted the certificate from the SuperFish adware and cracked the password (“komodia”) that encrypted it. I discuss how down below. The consequence is that I can intercept the encrypted communications of SuperFish’s victims (people with Lenovo laptops) while hanging out near them at a cafe wifi hotspot. Note: this is probably trafficking in illegal access devices under the proposed revisions to the CFAA, so get it now before they change the law.
I used simple reversing to find the certificate. As reported by others, program is packed and self-encrypted (like typical adware/malware). The proper way to reverse engineer this is to run the software in a debugger (or IDApro), setting break point right after it decrypts itself. The goal is to set the right break point before it actually infects your machine — reversers have been known to infect themselves this way.