Author Archives:
Switch view

Sony says PlayStation 4 backwards compatibility not on the cards

by 58 comments

After Microsoft announced at the E3 gaming expo this week that it is bringing old Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One, expectations were high that Sony will follow suite with its PS4 gaming console. But unfortunately, it looks like that’s not going to happen any time soon.

“PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well. It’s going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans,” said Sony’s Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, adding that he was in fact surprised with Microsoft’s move. “I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort.” Read more »

Google to remove revenge porn from its search results on request

by 14 comments

In an effort to curb revenge porn, Google has announced that it will honour requests from people to remove from its search results nude or sexually explicit images that have been shared on the Internet without their consent.

“Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women,” the search giant said in a blog post, adding that it will soon put up a web form that revenge porn victims can use to submit their requests to the company. Read more »

Electronic Frontier Foundation’s latest data safety report puts WhatsApp at bottom

by 58 comments

WhatsApp received the lowest score in Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) latest report on data privacy, which gave the messaging company only a single star, and that too for its parent company Facebook’s public position opposing backdoors.

Dubbed Who Has Your Back, the yearly report rates companies on factors like requiring a warrant for content, following industry-accepted best practices, disclosing data retention policies and content removal requests, as well as having pro-user public policy. Interestingly, this is WhatsApp’s first year in the report, which is into its fifth year. Read more »

SoftBank’s emotion-reading robot Pepper to go on sale in Japan starting tomorrow

by 47 comments

Japanese company SoftBank has announced that its emotion-reading robot Pepper, which it claims is the first of its kind in the world, will go on sale in the country starting June 20. Only 1,000 units of the robot will be available for purchase this month, each worth $9,040 (this includes three-year warranty and support plan).

Interestingly, Pepper can not only read human emotions (like joy, sadness and anger), it is also capable of expressing emotions, something which it does by processing information from its cameras, touch sensors, accelerometer and other sensors. Read more »

Facebook’s recently launched Moments app won’t be available in Europe

by 9 comments

Just days after Facebook released Moments – a private photo-sharing app that uses facial-recognition technology to identify people in images, the company has said that the app won’t be available in Europe.

According to the company’s European policy chief Richard Allan, the decision was taken in the wake of concerns raised by European regulators over the facial-recognition technology used by the app. Read more »

Reddit hops on the encryption bandwagon, to switch to HTTPS on June 29

by 3 comments

Popular internet community website Reddit, which describes itself as “the front page of the internet,” has announced that it will start encrypting all traffic on its site by this month’s end.

“Please ensure that all of your scripts can perform all of their functions over HTTPS by June 29,” said site administrator rram. “At this time we will begin redirecting all site traffic to be over HTTPS and HTTP will no longer be available.” Read more »

Critical zero-day flaws in Apple’s iOS and OS X could allow hackers to steal passwords

by 46 comments

Researchers have revealed some serious zero-day flaws in Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems that when exploited could allow attackers to break into the company’s password-storing keychain, app sandboxes, as well as circumvent its App Store security checks, effectively letting them steal passwords from installed apps, including iCloud, Mail app, as well as Google Chrome.

“Our malicious apps successfully went through Apple’s vetting process and was published on Apple’s Mac app store and iOS app store,” said lead researcher Luyi Xing. Read more »

Nokia reportedly considering selling its HERE mapping business to German carmakers

by 40 comments

Over a couple of months after there were reports that Nokia is contemplating a sale of its HERE maps business, Bloomberg is reporting that the unit might be sold to a group of German carmakers.

The report, however, notes that Nokia isn’t satisfied with the price being offered, and wants the group – which includes Audi, BMW, and Daimler – to increase their offer. Read more »

Microsoft’s Bing to offer search traffic encryption by default

by 9 comments

Microsoft has announced that the encrypted search feature in Bing, which was rolled out last year and is currently optional, will be available by default in the coming months.

The Redmond, Washington-based company said that while it will continue to send a referrer string (letting marketers and webmasters identify traffic as coming from Bing), the actual query terms will not be passed along. However, some limited query term data will be made available through its various webmaster and advertiser tools, the company noted. Read more »

Amazon mulling paying normal people to deliver its packages

by 7 comments

In an effort to contain shipping costs, Amazon is considering paying ordinary people to deliver its packages, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Internally dubbed On My Way, the service would see the company enlisting physical retailers in urban areas to store the packages. As per the report, the idea is in a very nascent stage, as critical aspects like how deliverers would be paid and who would be responsible if packages are damaged or go missing aren’t yet clear. Read more »

BitTorrent Shoot allows you to share files directly between mobile devices

by 21 comments

BitTorrent has released a new app that the company claims allows you to share files directly between mobile devices without going through the cloud. Dubbed Shoot, the app is based on BitTorrent Sync technology, and is compatible with Android, iOS, as well as Windows Phone devices.

“If you’ve ever experienced a situation where you’re on iOS and a friend next to you has an Android phone, sending something like a big batch of photos or a long video is a challenge,” the filesharing company said in a blog post. “The Shoot app was developed to make this easy.” Read more »

HTC Sense TV app makes a comeback on Windows Phone Store

by 8 comments

Over a month after both its Android as well as Windows Phone versions were taken down, the HTC Sense TV app is back on the Windows Phone Store.

If you aren’t already aware, the app allows owners of the HTC One (M8) to use their smartphone as a remote control for their TV. At the time the Sense TV app was discontinued, the company said that users will be prompted to download the Peel app, on which the former is based. However, that never happened. Read more »

Google Maps will now warn you if your destination will be closed by the time you arrive

by 8 comments

Google has updated its Maps application with a couple of new and interesting features as well as some bug fixes. You’ll be pleased to know that the app will now warn you when you are about to navigate to a place that will be closed at your time of arrival.

As clear from the screen-shot above, the app will also display the working hours of the establishment as well as your estimated time of arrival below the warning message. Read more »

LastPass reports security breach, but says encrypted user vault data safe

by 2 comments

Password management company LastPass has revealed that it discovered and blocked suspicious activity on its network last week. While the company is claiming that there was no compromise of user accounts as well as encrypted user vault data, it said that hackers were able to access some information including email addresses, password reminders, server per user salts, and authentication hashes.

“We are confident that our encryption measures are sufficient to protect the vast majority of users,” the company said in a blog post. “LastPass strengthens the authentication hash with a random salt and 100,000 rounds of server-side PBKDF2-SHA256, in addition to the rounds performed client-side. This additional strengthening makes it difficult to attack the stolen hashes with any significant speed.” Read more »

PlayStation Vue to offer a la carte subscriptions, coming to San Francisco and Los Angeles

by 6 comments

Sony has announced that in July its Internet TV service PlayStation Vue will begin offering a la carte channel subscriptions, allowing users to choose channels that they wish to subscribe instead of entire bundles. The announcement was made by the company at the ongoing E3 gaming expo.

In addition, the company also announced that the service, which is currently available in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, will now be available in San Francisco and in Los Angeles as well. There was, however, no word on the pricing. Read more »