North Korea’s Internet outage was likely the work of hacktivists — but not the ones you might think
Dec24

North Korea’s Internet outage was likely the work of hacktivists — but not the ones you might think

Who — or what — might have caused North Korea’s Internet outage? The mystery has all the trappings of an international spy thriller, all the more so now that some people claiming links to Anonymous are seeking credit for the disruption. A shadowy hacker clan taking down the IT infrastructure of the world’s most secretive regime? It’s just too good. But although analysts largely believe some hacktivists were involved, it’s unlikely anyone from Anonymous was actually responsible for taking down the Hermit Kingdom’s systems. Here’s why. We know at least a few things about the 9.5-hour outage, even if we can’t pinpoint the culprit. The break in service coincided with a number of denial-of-service attacks recorded by Western network researchers. These attacks are designed to flood a network with bogus traffic so that the target’s systems are forced to shut down. The denial-of-service attacks targeted two servers responsible for routing Internet traffic to North Korean Web sites, along with a number of actual sites belonging to a North Korean university and the government’s official public portal, according to IT analysts at Arbor Networks. The surge in fake traffic also took place at roughly the same time that Twitter accounts claiming to represent Anonymous announced #OpRIPNK, a retribution campaign against North Korea. All these signs point to the work of hacktivists — not the U.S. government, researchers say. “If the government wanted to do something about this, I would suspect they would do something more targeted toward the leadership rather than […]

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Download the Latest Skype Version for Free and Play Online Games with Friends during Chats
Dec01

Download the Latest Skype Version for Free and Play Online Games with Friends during Chats

Sometimes, it is hard to avoid the lazy and very dull periods that you may look for; literally anything to get you busy; something that is fun and enjoyable and at the same time waste most of your idle time. You might be asking yourself what you can do to take up that time when you feel like not sleeping. One way you can “waste time” is going online and either play some hearts with some dummy opponents or chat with a familiar friend on Skype. But for how long will you chat with your friend; Minutes? Hours? This sounds very boring and lacks the fun you might be looking for. On the contrary, you can combine these two features into one thing and do something different from it. While chatting on Skype, you can also play games with your chat mate. You can challenge your online friend to play with you a one-on-one game of chess and for sure, this will spice up things a little bit as opposed to having plain chats or playing with some dummies. There are several games you can enjoy online while chatting with your friends on Skype. You can get these games by visiting the Skype Shop for Apps. Here you’ll find both free and premium games to download. The FireArc Arcade Using this application, you can play classic games with your online friends on Skype. This software application is a freeware. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about anything to do with […]

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Use this app to get the lowest prices on your holiday shopping
Nov25

Use this app to get the lowest prices on your holiday shopping

Shopping for holiday gifts usually goes something like this: Check to see if the same item is cheaper on Amazon. Buy the better deal. But what if there’s a better deal at another store close by or even online? A new app from Savings.com called PriceJump does just that. It helps shoppers cover all their bases by scanning local stores and 5,000 online retailers in real time to get the best price. After downloading the app (only available on the iPhone for now), users can scan a bar code and instantly find the best price for that item. The result will display the best local and online price and also Amazon’s. Amazon doesn’t always win. This summer, PriceJump launched a website that tracked Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) prices and found that the site offered the best deals 51% of the time. On items that cost more than $100, PriceJump found lower prices than Amazon 70% of the time. But hunting for deals could save people a lot of money, particularly during the holiday season. Savings.com found that many popular holiday gifts wildly fluctuate in price during the last three months of the year. One Disney doll (Elsa, of course), was available on Amazon for $14.99 on Oct. 17 and shot up to $20.39 on Oct. 18. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) both offered the same doll for $12.79. Savings.com also found that Microsoft’s (MSFT, Tech30) Surface tablet was being simultaneously being offered for $336 from one retailer and $524 from […]

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Hard Lesson: Rocket Blast Teaches Teens Cost of Discovery
Oct30

Hard Lesson: Rocket Blast Teaches Teens Cost of Discovery

The explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket bound for the International Space Station taught a hard lesson to students across the country whose science experiments were included in the payload: In science and in space, failure sometimes comes with the territory. “I think the lesson is, sometimes in life things don’t go the way you think they’re going to go,” Randy Speck, the superintendent of Madison District Public Schools in Michigan, told NBC News. That’s especially true for a quartet of students in Speck’s district: Four Iraqi refugee girls whose project was one of the 18 student flight experiments aboard the cargo ship attached to Orbital Sciences’ failed Antares rocket meant to carry supplies to the International Space Station. The projects were chosen from among nearly 1,500 proposals submitted by students in school districts in the U.S. and Canada under the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Speck’s Iraqi student foursome at Wilkinson Middle School designed an experiment that would have tested whether iodine tablets can purify water in space. Instead, they watched in shock as the rocket — and their project that took four months of collaboration done in both Arabic and English — burst into flame. “When the rocket started going up and there was a lot of fire, I was surprised,” said Regina Alsabagh, 14, who watched the launch at her brother’s house. “I was sad and scared if there was a person on the rocket. I didn’t know.” Regina and her three teammates — all of whom fled […]

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Better camera gives Samsung a Note-worthy phone
Oct15

Better camera gives Samsung a Note-worthy phone

NEW YORK — With Apple’s release of larger-screen iPhones last month, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy phones no longer have the distinction of being “the next big thing,” as Samsung’s ads like to tout. But there’s still plenty to like in Samsung’s phones, including the new Galaxy Note 4 phone out this week. Sharper resolution, better cameras and battery life give the Note 4 a stronger edge than the phone’s previous incarnation. However, just like the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the 5.7-inch Note 4 will be too big for a lot of customers, unless you want to watch lots of video but not carry around a large tablet. Many people will be happier holding and carrying the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5 or the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The Note 4 will cost $300 with a two-year service contract. Contract-free prices range from $700 with Verizon to $826 with AT&T. The Note comes with 32 gigabytes of storage, which is starting to become the standard starting point. THE DISPLAY The Note’s screen resolution is sharper than most other phones, though it doesn’t make a lot of difference when viewing video, as the quality of streaming video is often poorer than what the screen can display. What matters more is Samsung’s use of AMOLED display technology, which produces richer colors than conventional LCD screens. The better resolution does help with smaller text, but with such a large screen, you rarely need to read text that small. THE CAMERA Like the iPhone 6 Plus, the Note has […]

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How To Build Soft Robots
Sep26

How To Build Soft Robots

If you’ve ever wondered how to engineer a flexible robot that can move like a flesh-and-blood creature, have we got some tools for you. Thanks, that is, to an open-source collaboration that has outlined exactly how to create and program such “soft” robots. Researchers from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, released the Soft Robotics Toolkit that provides people with everything they need to know to build this squishy technology, including tutorials, example source code, descriptions of all the supplies required, links to suggested suppliers, and multimedia descriptions of how to build and control the robots. Why Make Soft Robots? The group defines soft robotics this way: Soft robotics is a growing field that takes inspiration from biological systems to combine classical principles of robot design with the study of soft, flexible materials. Many animals and plants are composed primarily of soft, elastic structures which are capable of complex movement as well as adaptation to their environment. These natural systems have inspired the development of soft robotic systems, in which the careful design of component geometry allows complex motions to be “pre-programmed” into flexible and elastomeric materials…. The inherent compliance of soft robots makes them highly adaptable to a wide range of tasks and environments. In particular, they are ideally suited for interactions with humans, from assisting with daily activities to performing minimally invasive surgery. Soft robots are made of elastomer, a type of polymer similar to rubber. They can be programmed to […]

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