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Alcatel plans a iPhone killer with Windows 10 ‘superphone’

Alcatel plans a iPhone killer with Windows 10 'superphone'

Alcatel plans to make a iPhone killer Windows 10 run ‘superphone’ with superlative specs

Ever since Microsoft bought out Nokia stake, its Windows 1o mobile business has been sulking. Since there are a few Windows 10 smartphone manufacturers, it is left to Microsoft to bring out smartphones. Judging by the reception that Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 smartphone, Lumia 950XL and Lumia 950, there is a good market for such phones.

Alcatel seems to have realised that and is planning a ‘superphone’ to take on the premium iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Alcatel seems to have realised that churning out run of the mill smartphones with Windows 10 wont do the job and will bring a high-end Windows 10 Mobile.

Steve Cistulli, senior vice president of the North America region calls such smartphone a “superphone.” While the superphone still seems to be on the Alcatel drawing boards, Cistulli told CNET at the CES 2016 show in Las Vegas that he wants his company to compete against flagship devices built by Samsung and Apple.

“We’re going to have the leading specs to take on the best smartphones,” Cistulli was quoted as saying. “We’re committed to Windows 10.”

From the looks of it, Alcatel may be actually building a high-end device whose plan is to kill off the iPhone and offer superlative features from head to toe.

Meanwhile Microsoft’s smartphone division got a fresh breath of live with Windows 10 Mobile operating system. Many manufacturers are keen to bring out smartphones running on Windows 10 mobile. Microsoft is also planning a new high-end model which could debut in the second half of 2016.

According to sources, this high end smartphone with ‘super premium’ features could be called Surface Phone and excel not only in terms of performance but also build quality. Microsoft is eager to cash in on the goodwill generated by its Surface Pro tablets and will use the same approach for marketing the Surface Phone.

By the end of the year we could have at least 10 new Windows 10 run smartphone launches including Alcatel’s iPhone killer ‘superphone.’

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Microsoft Warns That Windows 7 Has Serious Problems And So You Should Use Windows 10

Microsoft Warns That Windows 7 Has Serious Problems And So You Should Use Windows 10

Windows 7 has a huge problem, according to Microsoft and users may not realize this

Despite the fact that Windows 10 is alive, kicking, and running as smooth as butter, Windows 7 still runs on 55 percent of all the machines out there, and that is not necessarily a bad, if not for one little issue. According to Microsoft’s Marketing Chief Chris Capossela there is a huge problem with Windows 7. He explains the following concerning the security of the operating system:

“We do worry when people are running an operating system that’s 10 years old that the next printer they buy isn’t going to work well, or they buy a new game, they buy Fallout 4, a very popular game, and it doesn’t work on a bunch of older machines. And so, as we are pushing our ISV [Independent Software Vendor] and hardware partners to build great new stuff that takes advantage of Windows 10 that obviously makes the old stuff really bad and not to mention viruses and security problems.”

We are touched that the executive is concerned about the security and safety of our operating systems. However, he has forgotten about one small detail; Windows 7 will continue to receive critical system and security updates till 2020, meaning that the security of this operating system and Windows 10 will remain the same till 2020. However, we should also add that with every passing year, Windows 7 is going to start becoming less and less relevant with every passing month, which was expected, seeing as how Windows 10 is going to be the last operating system released by the company, at least according to Microsoft.

With Windows 10, more and more security and system updates will continue to pour through, which will eventually make Windows 7 completely obsolete. Lots of users will continue to use the previous versions of the company’s platform, along with Vista and Windows 8, which is completely alright, but with every new year coming through, it looks like they will be more compelled to upgrade to Windows 10.

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iPhone 7 to ditch 3.5mm Audio Jack for wireless headphones

iPhone 7 to ditch 3.5mm Audio Jack for wireless headphones

Apple rumored to drop 3.5mm headphone jack from ‘iPhone 7’ and instead supply wireless EarPods

Rumors floating in November had suggested that Apple might give up on the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack for the next-generation iPhone and instead go for a Lightning port. Now, supply chain reports from Chinese news sites, Anzhou and Feng have reaffirmed the claims. With the change in specifications, Apple is not only looking to engineer thinner devices, but also to stimulate sales of new wireless headsets, the report said.

Anzhou states that Apple is developing a set of wireless “EarPods,” the brand name for the company’s own iPhone earphones. Instead of plugging in headphones through the jack, iPhone 7 users would have to either use wireless headphones or buy a pair of special Lightning headphones. Feng notes that Lightning headphones will be the wired alternative option, but Apple ‘expects’ most people to move to wireless particularly if Apple starts bundling wireless EarPods with the iPhone 7 as suggested.

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple has made a Lightning adaptor. The company developed a Lightning to Micro USB adaptor to comply with European Union regulation, while the company’s Lightning to 30-pin Dock Connector relieved the transition for those who had older hardware designed for the iPhone’s older charging port.

The Lightning connector gives Apple better control over the third-party accessories that would be compatible with the iPhone 7.

However, the only problem with this new strategy is that iPhone 7 buyers might not be able to use their own headphones with the device, though it’s expected the company would offer adapters that would allow them to connect certified accessories.

As we get closer to the rumored mid-2016 debut date of the iPhone 7, more details are expected to emerge in the coming months. Apple hasn’t confirmed the change yet.

Also read: iPhone 7 Plus to have 256GB storage and a massive 3,100 mAh battery

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Valencell files a lawsuit against Apple for stealing it Heart Rate Sensor

Valencell files a lawsuit against Apple for stealing it Heart Rate Sensor

Apple using our Heart Rate Sensor in Smartwatch without permission says biometric firm, Valencell

Lawsuits are not new to Apple. It has already lost a number of them but this one is pretty serious charge. A biometrics firm, Valencell has claimed that Apple has stolen its heart rate sensor without any permission nor paying the requisite fees. Valencell has also accused, fitness bands maker, Fitbit of similar offence.

Biometrics firm Valencell has filed a lawsuit against Apple and Fitbit, claiming that some of their products are using its heart rate sensor without paying for a license.

In a lawsuit filed with a district court in North Carolina on Monday, Valencell claims Apple showed interest in its biometric sensing technology in early 2013, around the same time that Apple Watch development was getting underway. Specifically, Apple Senior Partnership Manager Liang Hoe reached out with a partnership proposal for wrist-based heart rate sensing technology, the suit says.

Valencell claims its heart rate monitor is being used on products such as the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Charge HR, and the Fitbit Surge, all of which come with heart activity tracker capabilities.

Valencell explained in the court documents that it actually got in touch with Apple to negotiate a potential deal that would license the heart rate sensor to the Cupertino-based firm, but no agreement was reached.

Valencell also alleged that Apple induced its employees to hack into the firm’s website to access the tech whitepapers. According the documents filed in the court, Apple asked some of its employees to access the whitepapers that detailed its technology and published on its official site.

According to Valencell, these documents were available with a registered account, the firm says, but Apple’s employees used fake credentials to access them. A total of 7 employees have already been identified, it adds, and they’re all working for Apple.

“In or around the summer of 2013, Valencell demonstrated a prototype PerformTek-Powered watch to approximately 15 Apple employees. The back of the watch included a heart-rate monitor that was substantially similar to the Apple Watch. One or more of the Apple employees in attendance was involved in the design and/or implementation of the Apple Watch,” the court documents allege.

In its case against Apple, Valencell is leveraging U.S. Patent Nos. 8,923,941, 8,886,269, 8,929,965 and8,989,830, all of which relate to wearable biometric solutions like the one found in Apple Watch. The case filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina seeks an injunction of sales and damages.

Apple has not yet commented on the issue however Fitbit said that it will fight against the allegations by Valencell. In a emailed statement to us Fitbit stated,

“As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has independently developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower its customers to lead healthier, more active lives. Since its inception, Fitbit has more than 200 issued patents and patent applications in this area. Fitbit plans to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.”

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This Researcher hacked her own pacemaker

This Researcher hacked her own pacemaker

Researcher hacked her own pacemaker to generate awareness on medical device security

In an attempt to raise awareness on security of medical device, Marie Moe, a security researcher and a hacker, has hacked her own pacemaker.

Register reports that four years ago, Moe got her pacemaker after she experienced a form of arrhythmia and her heart began to slow.

However, she got curious and looked up the pacemaker’s manual and found that the device she had inside her body had wireless capabilities.

So, with the help of Cambridge University industrial control hacker Eireann Leverett she decided to play around with the very machine that is keeping her alive.

Once a part of the Norway’s Computer Emergency Response Team, Moe established that the device had two wireless interfaces: one near field communications for hospital checkups, and the other for communications with a device beside the bed.

Making use of vulnerable SMS and 3G communications channels, the bedside unit sends her personal sensitive medical information to data telemetry stores at the doctor’s work station, says Leverett.

“Personally I am not worried about being remotely-assassinated, I am more worried about software bugs,” Moe told the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg, December.

“As a patient I am expected to trust that my device is working correctly and that every security bug has been corrected by the vendor, but I want to see more testing and research [because] we can’t always trust vendors.

“I found the programming device on eBay and I bought it and began research … and it actually contained other patient information.”

The communication hub she bought is readily available online, even though the pacemaker unit is expensive and difficult to acquire for non-patients.

“We had some pairing issues [with the hub], and Marie couldn’t be in the same room for certain types of testing,” Leverett added.

“As a precaution we will not do experiments involving radio frequencies with me in the room,” Moe toldThe Register this week.

Moe and Leverett discovered unnamed devices with high risk, some running Bluetooth, and others sending out dangerous device information to Amazon cloud instances. In that latter instance, a developer at a health monitroing company had posted to an Amazon support forum that the “life of our patients is at stake”.

They said they were keeping a watch on “hundreds” of cardiac patients at home and for the last 24 hours they could not see their electrocardiogram signals.

All ways of critical medical devices have been hacked, some from meters away using wireless technologies. Defibrillators have been turned off, insulin pumps forced to dump their contents, and thousands of hospital networks and databases and critical devices found open to hacking.

“We don’t want to hype the point [of fatal medical exploits] we want to show that hacking can say lives and that hackers are a global resource to save lives,” Leverett says.

In an effort to audit and improve security postures, Moe is among the few of security professionals who are hacking their own life-critical medical devices. Describing the efforts at Black Hat 2011, Researcher Jay Radcliffe has hacked his insulin pump, while free software advocate Karen Sandler has explored her cardiac defibrillator. Further, in an effort to gain access to his medical data, Hugo Campus will be continuing to play around with his defibrillator.

Last year, these medical hackers successfully applied pressure on US Congress to allow exemptions to restrictive DCMA laws authorizing hackers to hack vehicles and break medical devices.

Software errors are not only security-related. In one instance, Moe had to debug her pacemaker after it provided the wrong number of beats that made her nearly collapsed after climbing the stairs at Covent Garden station.

A chain of physical tests disclosed that the pacemaker software was mis-configured.

Resource: Register

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Parrot’s latest drone is basically a fixed-wing stealth bomber

Parrot's latest drone is basically a fixed-wing stealth bomber

Parrot’s new Disco drone is a fixed-wing stealth bomber

The company that is famous for its AR Drone and various tiny mini drones, Parrot has just revealed its new entry into the drone space. The prototype called ‘Disco, a fixed-wing drone that looks more like a stealth bomber was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.

“Parrot Disco is the first wing-shaped drone you can pilot with no learning process. Its autopilot and its many sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, Pitot, GPS) permanently control its flight,” says the company’s press kit. “You throw the flying wing, it gains its altitude and turns autonomously, and turns in the sky until you take control of it. During the flight, the autopilot prevents any false maneuver which could bring the flying wing down. Parrot Disco is as easy to pilot as playing a video game.”

It features a 14-megapixel camera on the front, and even comes with a pair of first-person view goggles so that you can stylishly fly the thing. The camera has software-based image stabilization and can record video while in flight and stream it live to the control app.

The drone body is pretty light at 700 grams (roughly 1.5 pounds), as it is made from foam. It’s propelled by a single rotor at the rear and can reach top speed of 80 kilometer per hour (about 50 miles per hour). The fixed-wing design gives better battery life than a quadcopter with Parrot claiming 45 minutes before you need to recharge.

It is flown from Parrot’s SkyController device or a standard RC controller or it can follow an automatic flight plan.

The wings on the Disco are detachable, which should allow it to become more compact for transport, and may also help to scatter impact if a landing is too rough. It even features nifty autonomous modes, like a return home button which flies it back to you on its own.

The drone is launched by throwing it in the air, at which point it takes off and circles automatically, awaiting commands from its pilot.

“It’s very fun to pilot a wing”, he said.

The Parrot Disco is the product of two years of research and development, an effort that’s not over yet. The company still has work to do before the Disco becomes a commercial product.

Parrot didn’t disclose too many details on the drone, other than that it will be available sometime in 2016 for an undisclosed price.

In the meantime, you can watch the video below and drool over what could be yours eventually.

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U.S. Judge says Yahoo must face class action lawsuit for sending spammy messages

U.S. Judge says Yahoo must face class action lawsuit for sending spammy messages

Yahoo Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Sending 500,000 Unsolicited Advertising Messages (Spam)

U.S. District Court Judge Manish Shah has ordered Yahoo Inc. to face a class-action lawsuit over the incident that took place back in March 2013, which violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The internet company was accused of sending more than 500,000 spam text messages to Sprint cellphone users welcoming them to Yahoo Messenger, without their permission.

Shah said that due to the number of lawsuits with similar claims, users could sue as a group if they wanted.

Shah rejected Yahoo’s arguments that a class action could subject it to damages that were disproportionate to the alleged harm, promote “piecemeal” litigation covering other time periods and phone carriers, and thwart Congress’ desire that claims be brought individually in small claims court.

The court paper shows that more than 500,000 cellphone users could be part of the class.

Yahoo was accused by the plaintiffs for sending automated welcome messages when other users sent them messages through Yahoo Messenger service.

Many users felt that the welcome messages amounted to unsolicited advertising messages, violating the federal TCPA and subjecting the Sunnyvale, California-based company to damages of up to $1,500 per message if found guilty. Ultimately, this could very well be an expensive lawsuit for the company, if they are fined the maximum amount, and all 500,000 possible cellphone users join in on the class action.

Rachel Johnson, an Illinois resident who brought the initial lawsuit claimed to have received a welcome message from Yahoo after being sent a spam text message from another user advertising a means to decrease high-cost debt.

A similar, strange case was brought to court in 2014 when a user purchased a used T-Mobile smartphone that kept delivering messages meant for another Yahoo user. However, Shah declined to certify a separate class for this case. He said that in that part of the case, the proposed plaintiff had agreed to receive welcome messages.

Yahoo did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Keith Keogh, a lawyer for Johnson, said: “We appreciate the court’s thorough analysis.”

The case is Johnson et al v. Yahoo Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Nos. 14-02028, 14-02753.

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This is how you can make iOS 9’s default Apps disappear on an iPhone

This is how you can make iOS 9's default Apps disappear on an iPhone

iOS Hack : Here is how to make iOS 9’s default apps disappear

It is well known that Android smartphones come with a lot of bloatware but iPhones and iPad have luckily been bloatware free. But with iOS 9 to 9.2, such default Apps have reappeared on the iPhone/iPad screen, often irritating the users.

It is learnt that Apple is working on providing a mechanism to users to hide such unwanted default apps in iOS, however that is still awaited.

Thanks to alert user, now you can use a glitch in iOS 9 through 9.2 to hide such unwanted Apps from the iPhone/iPad screen.

As seen in the video above, users have to move the unwanted apps into a folder, and then drag them as far to the right as possible, beyond any and all of the folder’s tabs. With an app still suspended “mid-air,” hitting the Home button simultaneously will cause it to vanish.

Remember, this method does not delete the Apps, it only hides them. The Apps will return once you reboot the iPhone/iPad. Simply putting a device to sleep leaves them invisible.

Another video given below is a tutorial to permanently conceal apps by way of invisible folders, but this involves a more complex set of steps, and using gray wallpaper to complete the illusion.

Till the time, Apple comes up with way to hid such unwanted Apps from iPhone/iPad screen, you can use either the easy way or the hard way and hide the unwanted Apps.

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Zerodium offers $100,000 to hackers to breach Flash’s new security feature

Zerodium offers $100,000 to hackers to breach Flash’s new security feature

Zerodium puts up a $100,000 bug bounty for Flash Zero-Day Exploit

Zerodium, the company that deals in exploits and zero-days has put up a fresh $100,000 bug bounty for zero-days in the new Flash security feature.  Zerodium buys zero-day bugs from security researchers and then sells them forward to government intelligence agencies. It has already been in news for offering a $1 million bug bounty to a security researcher for a zero-day bug in Apple’s newly released iOS 9 mobile operating system.

Zerodium is offering $100,000 / €93,000 to the first security researcher/security researcher/hacker, who finds a zero-day bug capable of avoiding Flash’s new isolated heap protection. Adobe had deployed Heap Isolation in Flash version 18.0.0209 a few months back, with an aim at making the Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerabilities more difficult for cybercriminals to exploit.

Heap Isolation was announced by Adobe in December and is Adobe’s latest weapon against cyber criminals and hackers.  Isolated heap protection is a modern security technique that separates data processes inside the computer’s memory. Adobe worked with Google’s Project Zero developers to develop this feature and it was implemented in the Flash Player version 18.0.0.209.

“This change will limit the ability for attackers to effectively leverage use-after-free vulnerabilities for exploitation,” said Adobe in December.

The heap isolation technique has been difficult to crack as seen from the bounty offered by Zerodium. According to a price list published by Zerodium, the max payout for Flash zero-days is $80000. So the $20000 increment in this latest bug bounty is a certificate of sorts for heap isolation technique.

Adobe which has been a major victim of the Hacking Team data breach in June 2015, has taken steps to secure its ever flawed Flash Player.

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The Dark Web Hacking Forum ‘Hell’ Has Returned Online

The Dark Web Hacking Forum 'Hell' Has Returned Online

Look who’s back? The Dark Web Hacking Forum ‘Hell’

Just months after users speculated that the infamous dark web hacking forum, ‘Hell’ was shut for good, it has made a comeback. The dark web hacking forum ostentatiously called “Hell,” was hovered by undercover cops and it was shut down amidst rumors of its founder being arrested has just relaunched online, according to Motherboard.

The now-infamous forum for hacking tips and stolen data gained public recognition when a hacker dumped the intimate information of 4 million users of the hook-up service Adult Friend Finder. The company was compelled to publicly confess the breach, which exposed users’ sexual orientation, age, gender and race.

A couple of weeks later the site’s administrator and founder, known as “Ping,” disappeared, prompting rumours that he had been arrested. Even though Ping resurfaced a few days later, the site was shut down in mid-July after rumours of internal disputes and law enforcement presence weakened the forum.

However, the site is live again under an old forum moderator, which looks and feels exactly the same way. The site is run through the anonymizing browser Tor.

“Hell is now public,” the new forum administrator, nicknamed “HA,” wrote in a post. “Anyone can share the HELL URL where they see fit.”

When Motherboard contacted HA through the forum’s private message system, neither the administrator responded to a request for a comment nor the old administrator, Ping, could be reached for comment.

The new site has the same exact design like the old one, wherein the over-the-top logo of a sports car is riding toward a hellish looking town. Similar message boards where users can buy and sell hacked data, as well as share their hacking techniques and tutorials are also there.

Users have expressed skepticism that the new forum is any safer than the original iteration.

“Welcome Back, I really missed the HELL,” wrote a user named ain_el_morris, responding to a post by HA titled “we learn from our PAST,” which was just a link to the first Motherboard article on Hell. “Thou [sic] must observe utmost precaution at all times and ONLY trust yourself.”

Writing in a thread titled “Is this actually safe,” a user called “Masclacht” wrote, “How am I to trust the site administrator?”

“Don’t worry about anything regarding LE, NSA and others,” HA answered. “If you suspect anyone to be LE please let us know so that we can take proper action against them, since this is not a place for them.”

It’s unclear when exactly Hell came back online as the forum doesn’t log the dates when posts are made—likely for security reasons. An anonymous source tipped Motherboard off to the site’s new .onion URL (https://legionhiden4dqh4.onion) on Sunday and judging from the extremely low amount of posts, it probably just relaunched last weekend.

Currently, there are no signs whether the site is a law enforcement honeypot. However, users might find it difficult to trust Hell, given its infamous history.

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