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Sony PlayStation Classic hacked to run games off a USB drive

Sony PlayStation Classic hacked

Hackers crack Sony’s PlayStation Classic shortly after the release

Last week, Sony released PlayStation Classic with 20 officially preinstalled games, which includes games such as Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto, and Resident Evil Director’s Cut. The list of games left out many countless classic games from the 90s leaving fans disappointed. Moreover, the gaming console does not have any built-in machine to add more unofficial games.

However, this did not stop the members of the console hacking community to find a way out to unofficially add games to the mini-console. Just one week after its launch, hackers have apparently found a method to run games and software on the PlayStation Classic via a USB flash drive, reports Ars Technica.

Popular console hackers, yifanlu and madmonkey1907 have managed to successfully sideload the PlayStation Classic’s code via the system’s UART serial port. Thanks to the weak cryptography in the PlayStation Classic, which was discovered by these console hackers while dumping the PlayStation Classic system code onto an external machine.

According to the hackers, the most sensitive parts of the PlayStation Classic’s codes were signed and encrypted using a key that had been mistakenly left behind on the console instead of being held by Sony.

YifanLu took to Twitter and documented the process in real-time of hacking the PlayStation Classic’s security. He was able to successfully run Crash Bandicoot on the console via a USB thumb drive (see video below).

YifanLu stated, “One key is, ‘Hey am I Sony?’…The other key is saying, ‘Hey I am Sony.’ They distributed the key that identifies [themselves] uniquely and this key doesn’t expire for another 50 years or so.”

Basically, consoles have encrypted codes that run in the system to prevent people from making any changes. However, on the PlayStation Classic, the necessary tool to decrypt the system’s codes is already available in the console’s system and all a user has to do is copy it to their PC.

In order to hack the mini-console, yifanlu and madmonkey1907 used an open-source tool called BleemSync, which is available on GitHub for PlayStation Classic owners who want to carry the procedure at home. Apparently, the PlayStation Classic doesn’t check the software it is running, which makes the cracking process easy. However, it is important to note that since the console is still in its early days, running other games can result in your PlayStation Classic being bricked, if done wrong.

The easy hacking process of the console is certainly not good news for Sony. And, the company would be looking to rectify the error by locking down the console via future hardware revisions.

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YouTuber makes Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller work on the Nintendo Switch

YouTuber makes Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller work on the Nintendo Switch

Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller Can Be Used On The Nintendo Switch

There is good news for disabled gamers! A YouTuber has come up with a workaround to get Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller work on the Nintendo’s Switch console.

For those unaware, Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) is a video game controller designed for Windows PCs and the Xbox One video game console.

The controller launched earlier this year was designed for people with disabilities to help make user input for video games more accessible. It has 19 ports that can be connected to all different kinds of controllers and inputs, including those used by people with disabilities or limited capabilities.

While Microsoft has not set up official support for other consoles, which also includes Nintendo Switch, a YouTube channel, My Mate VINCE, that specializes in ‘How to’ guides, has released a guide on how to use the Xbox Adaptive Controller on a Nintendo Switch console.

Currently, Nintendo players need to use the standard controllers or buttons supplied with each device.

The video shows the YouTuber got the device working on the Nintendo Switch with the help of a Mayflash Magic-NS wireless controller adapter costing $20 on Amazon and a bit of software troubleshooting to remap the buttons.

Check out the detailed guide below on how to get your Xbox set up and working on the Nintendo Switch.

Please note that since Nintendo Switch does not officially support the adapter, the risk that this support might be disabled, intentionally or not, in a future Switch update is likely possible.

As we can see from the video, it takes My Mate Vince nearly 20 minutes to complete the whole process.

While one can certainly make the Adaptive Controller work on the Nintendo Switch, it would be best if Nintendo in the future makes their hardware compatible with XAC to avoid such workarounds.

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Apple Working On TV Streaming Dongle To Take On Chromecast, Fire TV Stick

Apple Working On TV Streaming Dongle To Take On Chromecast, Fire TV Stick

Apple to make a low-cost streaming dongle, similar to Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV

Apple is reportedly planning to launch an affordable dongle similar to Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, according to a report by The Information, citing people familiar with the development.

Apparently, Apple who is expected to launch its TV streaming service sometime in 2019 will directly take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The service would be available for free to Apple device owners, which includes the Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. Also, the dongle would be exclusive to Apple TV, iPhones and iPads only.

With the Apple TV costs $149 for the non-4K model and $179 for the 4K model, it does make sense for the company to come up with its own low-priced dongle and get people to subscribe to their streaming service in order to increase its consumer base.

Apple could either bundle the service as a standalone app or within the existing TV app, suggests rumors. It is expected to include a good mix of original programming content, third-party video services as well as the option to subscribe to TV channel packages.

Apple has already spent more than $1 billion to produce its original content for the TV streaming service.

The streaming service will launch in the U.S. first and will later be made available in more than 100 countries after a few months.

The new TV service is expected to launch sometime in 2019 and will include a TV series by the La La Land director Damien Chazelle, a drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, a children’s show, and a science fiction show by Ron Moore among others.

What do you think about Apple’s low-cost dongle? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Xiaomi’s fitness tracker is detecting a heartbeat from a roll of toilet paper

Xiaomi’s fitness tracker is detecting a heartbeat from a roll of toilet paper

Do you know why are the Chinese strapping Xiaomi’s Mi Band 3 on a roll of toilet paper?

Does toilet paper have a heartbeat? Sounds weird and impossible, right? But, your fitness tracker thinks otherwise.

Apparently, owners of Xiaomi Mi Band 3 fitness trackers in China have been strapping their fitness trackers onto rolls of toilet paper to detect a heartbeat. And to their surprise, these devices are displaying a heart rate when wrapped around a toilet roll.

Reports of toilet paper with heartbeats started on China’s social network site Weibo, where people quickly started posting videos and images of their Mi Bands doing the phenomenon. The experiment was just not limited to toilet rolls but was also extended to a few other cylindrical objects like cans, bottles, and appendages of stuffed animals.

Abacus tested it out in a video different types of fitness trackers including the Apple Watch Series 4 and an Android Wear smartwatch.

The test showed that placing a Xiaomi Mi Band 3 on a roll of toilet paper clocked in with a heart rate of 81 BPM, while a coffee mug had 72 BPM and a banana showed 77 BPM. The same experiment was carried out using an Apple Watch Series 4 and a Ticwatch, an Android Wear smartwatch. Both displayed a heart rate, but it was much slower than Mi Band.

So, how does it happen? According to Gizmodo website, “To detect a heartbeat, trackers beam a green light at a user’s wrist. Blood absorbs green light, so when blood flows faster it absorbs more green light. This process, known as photoplethysmography (PPG), is a relatively simple way to detect how fast a user’s heart is beating.”

Expert PPG researchers confirmed that PPG sensors can easily misread and misinterpret “heart rates” when placed on an object that can reflect light. Objects can reflect lights and confuse the tracking sensors into thinking that there is blood flowing through them. Since bananas and mugs have surfaces that are more reflective than toilet paper, those would consistently yield a quicker heart rate than the toilet paper.

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Lucyd Loud: Prescription Compatible Ergonomic Smart Glasses

Smartphones have provided consumers with incredible technologies, and their reach has expanded to Bluetooth-connected devices, cars, and wearable tech. In fact, the wearables market is expected to grow in value from just over $10 billion in 2017 to almost $17 billion by 2021 according to Wearable Technologies. From fitness trackers to smart watches, it seems like more and more individuals are seeing the advantages of wearable tech.

Given this huge influx of wearable devices (and the profit from them), many companies are entering the market with new products — so how do companies differentiate themselves?

Take a look at Lucyd, a Singapore-based company that is changing the wearables market by bringing amazing technology into high profile smartglasses. Their frames combine fashion with user-friendly, hands-on technology that seamlessly integrates into everyday situations.

Imagine listening to music, taking calls, and using voice commands through your glasses. The convenience this could offer you would be huge! But you don’t have to imagine this, because these conveniences are available through Lucyd Loud.

Released just months ago, the Lucyd Loud smartglasses (or as Lucyd calls them, “soundglasses”) model is one of the company’s tech frames. As a comfortable mid-ground between sunglasses and glasses, the Lucyd Loud model is both light and comfortable, ergonomically designed for long term use. “Imagine if Bluetooth headphones and a pair of Oakleys had a baby,” said Lucyd co-founder, Harrison Gross.

The frame’s tech tool set is also impressive. At the core of the model is hifi audio, which delivers amazing sound quality to the wearer via “bone conduction technology,” — used in a number of high tech audio products. In essence, the smartglasses emit sound waves through your cheekbones and jaw and disperse sound into your inner ear, completely bypassing your eardrum. The cool part about this? Your ears are totally open and free to the outside world — so you don’t have to worry about blocking out your surroundings or taking out ear pieces to have a conversation.

The Lucyd Loud also features Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in microphone, and a trackpad along the side of the glasses for manual control. Plus, with the latest iPhone and Samsung smartphone models, you can also use voice commands to trigger specific functions through your smartphone assistant. Both Venmo and WhatsApp are supported by Lucyd Loud, with more third-party applications to follow.

To distribute their new Lucyd Loud frames, the company launched an eShop in August of this year. The eShop also showcases a number of unique features that foster customer interaction: a virtual try-on app that lets you “try before you buy,” the option to ask eye-health questions to a licensed optometrist, a selection of non-tech frames, and more. “The mission of Lucyd is to upgrade your eyewear, with the style and technology that fits you perfectly,” shared Gross. “The eShop will make the typically mundane chore of eyewear shopping into a fun, new experience.”

Unique to their eShop is the opportunity to purchase smartglasses with cryptocurrency. Users will soon be able to purchase apps and additional hardware with cryptocurrency through the store as well. This forward-thinking move by Lucyd is one of the many moves by leading retailers to popularize cryptocurrencies in the merchandise market.

Travel companies like Expedia and CheapAir have been experimenting with allowing customers to use Bitcoin, a leading cryptocurrency, to purchase flights and hotels through their sites. Other retailers like Overstock, Microsoft, and more are also accepting Bitcoin in an effort to diversify payment methods.

Although their tech frames are their flagship products, Lucyd also offers a number of fashionable frames, available with or without prescription lenses. Their goal is “to help you upgrade your eyewear hassle-free,” through their vast offerings, free shipping, 1-year coverage, and dynamic try-on app. It’s a huge upgrade for the eyewear and smartglasses buying experience.

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World’s fastest camera captures images at 10 trillion frames per second

World’s fastest camera captures images at 10 trillion frames per second

‘World’s fastest camera’ that freezes images at 10 trillion frames a second is unveiled

Researchers from Quebec University’s Institute national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), have developed what they claim as the world’s fastest camera capable of capturing 10 trillion (1013) frames per second. On the other hand, an average smartphone camera manages to capture around 30 per second. The project was led by Caltech’s Lihong Wang along with Jinyang Liang, INRS professor, and ultrafast imaging specialist and his colleagues.

Dubbed as T-CUP, the new device is so quick that it literally makes it possible to freeze time to see phenomena such as light itself behave in extremely slow motion.

To build their camera, the researchers looked at compressed ultra-fast photography (CUP), a technique that can capture images at a speed of around 100 billion frames per second. T-CUP’s system is based on a femtosecond (one quadrillionth of a second) streak camera that also involves a data acquisition type used in applications such as tomography.

“We knew that by using only a femtosecond streak camera, the image quality would be limited,” said Professor Lihong Wang, the Director of Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory (COIL) in a statement. “So to improve this, we added another camera that acquires a static image. Combined with the image acquired by the femtosecond streak camera, we can use what is called a Radon transformation to obtain high-quality images while recording ten trillion frames per second.”

According to the team, T-CUP has set a world record for real-time imaging speed and could be used to power a new generation of microscopes for biomedical, materials science, and other applications.

This camera represents a fundamental shift, making it possible to analyze interactions between light and matter at an unparalleled temporal resolution.

The very first time the ultrafast camera was used, it broke new ground by capturing the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse in real time.

This process was recorded in 25 frames taken at an interval of 400 femtoseconds and detailed the light pulse’s shape, intensity, and angle of inclination.

“It’s an achievement in itself. But we already see possibilities for increasing the speed to up to one quadrillion (10 to the 15) frames per second. Speeds like that are sure to offer insight into as-yet undetectable secrets of the interactions between light and matter,” says Jinyang Liang, the leading author of this work, who was an engineer in COIL when the research was conducted.

The finding of the research was published in the journal Light: Science & Applications.

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Facebook announces AI-powered video calling device “Portal”

Facebook announces AI-powered video calling device “Portal”

Meet Portal and Portal+, Facebook’s smart video calling devices for Messenger

Facebook has finally amidst all rumors officially launched its Messenger-enabled video chatting devices for the home, Portal and Portal+. With the launch of these devices, Facebook has entered the smart speaker space to compete with the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple.

The two products, Portal and Portal+, allows users to make and receive video calls using the Facebook Messenger service or Facebook. Portal closely resembles Amazon’s Echo Show.

Specifications and Features:

Display

Facebook Portal features a 10-inch touch-sensitive display at a 1280 x 800 resolution, while the Portal+ has a larger high-definition 15-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Portal’s display is fixed in landscape mode, but Portal+’s screen can pivot between portrait and landscape modes.

Camera

Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI (artificial intelligence) technology for added security and runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Powered by AI, Portal’s Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology allow users to enjoy a more convenient, hands-free experience. While Portal’s camera doesn’t use facial recognition and doesn’t identify the user, it does follow users during video calls.

“Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view. Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move. It’s like having your own cinematographer and sound crew direct your personal video calls,” notes Facebook in a blog post.

Privacy

As Facebook is aware of privacy concerns, the cameras in the Portal and Portal+ come with a cover that can easily block the camera’s lens at any time and the user can still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands. Facebook has done this to give an assurance to its users that it is not watching their moves. Also, Facebook allows users to disable cameras and the microphones in Portal and Portal+ with a single tap.

Password

To manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked. Changing the passcode requires your Facebook password.

Encryption

Facebook notes that it “doesn’t listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls”. The Portal conversations stay between the user and the people they are calling. In addition, video calls on the Portal are encrypted, which means the calls are always secure.

Voice Control + Alexa

Portal offers hands-free voice control. Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, “Hey Portal”. You can delete your Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log whenever you want. With Amazon Alexa built-in Portal, you can check for weather updates, sports scores, control smart home devices, order groceries, and much more. You can also use Amazon Prime music streaming on the device.

Music and Video

Portal enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching some of your favorite shows. The Portal and Portal+ can play music through Spotify Premium, Pandora and iHeartRadio, or stream video from Facebook Watch, Food Network, and Newsy. Facebook says that more partners for content will be announced soon

Connect with Facebook and Messenger Friends

You can call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don’t have Portal. You can also use the touchscreen to start a call. Calls can be made to and from Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.

Other features

When you are not using the video calling feature, Portal’s Superframe can display your favorite photos and videos and important notifications like birthday reminders, anniversaries to make you feel a little more connected to your closest family and friends.

Another cool feature is Story Time, which has five interactive storybooks you can read. This feature brings stories to life with custom sound effects and visuals.

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the U.S. from Facebook, Amazon and Best Buy. You can purchase a Portal for $199 or a Portal+ for $349. However, if you bundle two Portal models together, you can save $100, and get the pair for just $298. Both the devices will start shipping in November.

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Facebook’s “Portal video” chat device could launch next week

Facebook’s "Portal video" chat device could launch next week

Portal: Facebook’s own Alexa-powered video chat device to launch next week

Facebook is all set to unveil its first video device called “Portal” as soon as next week, according to a report by financial website Cheddar. Facebook plans to compete in the smart speaker space by taking on the likes of AmazonGoogle, and Apple.

Portal, the smart speaker, will reportedly come in two sizes and will be powered by Amazon Alexa voice assistant. It will have similar features like Echo Show, Amazon’s video-enabled smart speaker, and sport a display and a camera for video chatting purposes and facial recognition. It will allow users to see cooking recipes, play music, watch videos, and give users the news.

Portal will also feature wide-angle video camera that will take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to “recognize people in the frame and follow them as they move throughout a room”. It will also come with a privacy shutter to suppress the camera for those having privacy concerns when it’s not in use.

Apparently, Facebook had plans to launch Portal at its F8 developer conference in May “but the company’s scandals, including the Cambridge Analytica data breach and the bombshell revelation that Russia used the platform to interfere with the 2016 elections, led executives to shelve the announcement at the last minute,” reads the report.

Facebook Portal with the larger screen is expected to cost around $400, while the smaller screen variant will cost $300.

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Renting vs Buying A Router For Verizon FiOS

Renting vs Buying A Router For Verizon FiOS

When you sign up for Verizon FiOS, they throw out an offer that many customers take at surface value: you can rent your router from them. The assumption is that you will be getting the best router for Verizon FiOS, but that is not the whole truth.

There is not just one type of router on the market that works with Verizon FiOS and you do not need to rent one. This is why you should buy.

When you should Rent

In some instances, renting a router for Verizon FiOS might be the best option.

  1. You are moving out soon. No reason to buy a router and have it possibly not work in the future.
  2. You are not the one footing the bill. If you work from home, in some cases, bosses will pay for the internet, including renting the router for you.
  3. You have a complicated living situation. Roommates do not usually spend a lot of money on joint possessions. In the case of the router, if one roommate purchased it and then moved out, it just gets messy. Renting would make the most sense.

For $10 to $15 a year, you can rent the router and then send it back if you cancel your internet. One of the biggest perks of renting a router for Verizon FiOS is that if it is defective, they can replace it for you.

Also Read- How to upgrade your ordinary router with functionality of a high cost one with Tomato firmware

Why you should Buy

Realistically, buying a router for Verizon FiOS makes much more sense than renting one.

  1. The cost of renting adds up. If your rental fee is $10 a month, for example, that’s $120 after one year, which is in the range of what you would think to pay for a new router. But renting for two years puts you up to $240, which could have easily paid for a nicer router.
  2. You have more flexibility to customize. If you are not dealing with a company, you get to personalize all of your router’s settings to be what you would want it to be.
  3. You can get the features that you want. Renting a router means settling for whatever speed and security come in that rental. If you buy, however, you get to choose what type of router it is, including the number of ports, security settings, and efficiency.

Financially, it makes a lot more sense to just buy the router than to rent it from Verizon. In some cases, you can buy the router directly from Verizon instead of renting it, but you would be stuck with a certain type of router without options. Then again, you would know for sure that the router works with Verizon FiOS and if it isn’t working, you might have a connection issue.

How to Buy the Right Router

To begin with, you have to make sure that the router will work with Verizon. They should have a list on their website with the approved routers and modems that you can choose from. If you are moving in the future, remember that your router might not work with other providers.

Your router also needs to have the ability and speed to keep up with your online activity. Users running a small business are going to need different connections and speed than users who stream movies and games steadily.

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Samsung showcases its first smart speaker, the Galaxy Home

Samsung showcases its first smart speaker, the Galaxy Home

Samsung Galaxy Home Smart Speaker Unveiled With Bixby Smart Assistant

Samsung introduced its first smart speaker, the ‘Galaxy Home’, during its Unpacked 2018 event in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday. Expected to take on Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home, and the Apple HomePod, Samsung’s Galaxy Home is powered by its artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant, Bixby, for voice commands.

Similar to Apple’s HomePod, the Galaxy Home is designed to deliver music first and answer questions second. The AI-powered speaker is meant to be a smart-device hub, giving customers the ability to play music or control smart home devices such as door locks or lights without the need to lift a finger.

The Galaxy Home has eight microphones that register questions from users to its voice assistant Bixby. The device also features full-range speakers that are designed to produce sound in all directions. Just like Apple HomePod, it can also direct sound at you depending on where you are in the room rather than spreading it around a room. It uses Harman natural sound processing for improved surround sound experience and also houses high-quality sub-woofers for rich bass. The speaker which has a mesh black design includes audio tuning from AKG and a tripod-like stand.

Samsung also announced that it had partnered with the world’s biggest music-streaming service, Spotify to launch its new product. It demonstrated how Spotify can easily be played across Samsung TVs, phones and the Galaxy Home speaker. Spotify will be the default music streaming service on the Home speaker.

“We had to make sure that they share our values and are committed, long-term, to helping people enjoy music in new ways,” Samsung product marketing senior director Drew Blackard told the audience at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

“Luckily for us and, more importantly, lucky for you, we found the perfect fit.”

As part of the collaboration, Spotify will create apps for several Samsung smart products, including appliances, chief executive Daniel Ek said.

“Samsung makes devices for every aspect of our lives; really everything from smartphones to TVs, to tablets, speakers, watches, and even refrigerators,” Mr. Ek said.

“And we have designed Spotify to deliver personalized music to customers around the world, wherever they are, and on as many devices as possible. It’s a really great fit.”

Not much information was shared about the device by Samsung during the event, as the tech giant called the announcement a preview. Also, no sale date or price was shared by the company. More details are expected in November during the Samsung Developer Conference scheduled to take place on November 7 and 8 in San Francisco.

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