Category Archives: Computers

Researchers show ways to bypass home and office security systems

Many door and window sensors, motion detectors and keypads that are part of security systems used in millions of homes and businesses can be bypassed by using relatively simple techniques, according to researchers from security consultancy firm Bishop Fox.

The researchers presented some of the bypass methods they discovered in a talk at the Black Hat USA security conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, but declined to name any vendors whose products are affected.

“We started looking at security sensors, going from the outside in, and we found a few implementation issues that we can take advantage of,” said Drew Porter, a senior security analyst at Bishop Fox.

For example, many door sensors rely on magnetic fields to work and if you hit them with a high enough magnetic field, they trip, Porter said. Window sensors are vulnerable to the same issue, he said.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Samsung readies dual-mode 4G TDD/FDD LTE phones for China

Samsung Electronics is positioning itself to be one of the first handset vendors to tap into China’s upcoming market for 4G services by introducing new Galaxy S4 phones capable of operating on both FDD and TDD LTE networks. The South Korean company will bring FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 mini phones to China once the country officially launches commercial 4G services, the company said on Thursday. Currently, most Western nations are deploying 4G networks using FDD LTE technology. But in China, the government has been heavily promoting the use of TDD LTE networks. The country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, with 740 million customers, has been building trial networks with the 4G standard.Local officials have said China will issue the 4G commercial licenses later this year. Research firm IDC expects that could be as soon as September. China is the world’s largest smartphone market, and Samsung reigns as the country’s top vendor with a 19 percent share, according to IDC. The research firm’s forecasts show that in 2014, a quarter of all smartphones shipped to China will be designed for 4G networks. By 2017, that figure will reach 50 percent Samsung’s dual mode phones will allow users to seamlessly roam over different LTE networks, the company said. The handset maker plans to launch other TDD-LTE devices in other markets in the third quarter.

Outside of China, TDD LTE networks are seeing growing adoption in certain nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. 

In Australia, local carrier Optus will launch the FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode phones in a few weeks.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Sony stays in profit, revenue grows from strong smartphone sales

Sony reported a modest profit in its first fiscal quarter ended June 30, continuing a turnaround that started in the last fiscal year.

The company has also raised its revenue forecast for its current fiscal year on account of the depreciating Yen.

If the return to profitability in the last fiscal year mainly came from the sale of assets including its U.S. headquarters, a large Tokyo office complex and share holdings, the turnaround in the quarter came from improved sales of smartphones and the favorable impact of foreign exchange rates.

The company reported that its net profit was ¥3.5 billion (US$35 million) in the quarter, compared to losses of ¥24.6 billion in the same quarter last year. Revenue was up 13 percent to ¥1.7 trillion.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Wi-Fi adapter shootout: Qualcomm versus Intel in an 802.11 battle

Gamers are always hunting for a competitive edge, and the folks at Bigfoot Networks—now a part of Qualcomm Atheros—have long promised to deliver network interface cards that perform better with online games and other latency-sensitive applications. To demonstrate its prowess in this area, the company sent me two identical Alienware notebooks, one equipped with Qualcomm’s Killer Wireless-N 1202 and the other with Intel’s Centrino Advanced-N 6230.

Robert Cardin
We benchmarked two otherwise identical Alienware laptops: one outfitted with a Killer Wireless-N 1202 NIC (left) and the other with Intel’s Centrino Advanced-N 6230 (right).

Both NICs are dual-band adapters that can connect to an 802.11n router on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band. Both also support two spatial streams for a maximum physical link rate of 300 megabits per second. Some gaming-laptop manufacturers, including Alienware, offer Killer NICs as standard equipment, while others offer the adapters as added-cost upgrades. You can also purchase one of these cards by itself and upgrade your existing notebook, provided that the system has an available Mini PCIe slot to host the card (a common feature on better notebooks). The Killer Wireless-N 1202 is certainly inexpensive enough: I’ve seen it selling online for as little as $35 (Intel’s card is street-priced at about $30).

The key selling point of Killer NIC technology is its ability to identify the types of traffic traveling over your network and to assign higher priority to latency-sensitive traffic, such as online games, HD video, and audio.

Latency is a measure of time delay. When applications such as online games and streaming media encounter too much latency, you’ll end up with visible and/or audible glitches and hiccups. If you’re playing a first-person shooter with an online opponent, latency can render you a frustratingly easy target.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

The 14 best Windows Store music and movie apps

Microsoft may be stuffing gratis copies of Office into Windows RT slabs and small-screen Windows 8 tablets alike, but all the spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations in the world won’t change the fact that the modern UI was made for mobile devices—and mobile devices just beg to be used for media consumption.

Fortunately, although the Windows Store
still lags in many crucial app categories, it pretty much has entertainment down pat. Sure, it would be nice if more big-name music services called Windows 8 home, but these 14 stellar music and movie apps can keep you rocking out and tuned in long into the night—especially if you’re into streaming services.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Daniel Holbach: Join our Ubuntu Touch Porting Clinic today

Ubuntu Touch

These are very exciting times for Ubuntu Touch. Not only is the Ubuntu Edge, an Ubuntu super-phone, being funded right now, but we are also making lots of progress on getting Ubuntu running perfectly on phones and tablets near you.

I blogged about this a couple of times now, but Ubuntu Touch has been ported to LOTS of devices in the meantime. If we consult our Touch Devices list, there are 45 working ports, with 30 more in progress, and across 21 different brands. This is awesome. Now it’s time to bring all of them into the fold.

There are two things we have to do:

  1. Update some of the ports to the flipped container model. This switch has been happening over the last couple of weeks, but we’re there now. Android bits now run on top of an Ubuntu container. Some of the images still need to be updated to benefit from this.
  2. Enable the ports in phablet-flash. Yes, you read correctly. Since the announce of the Touch preview, we only supported four devices (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10). We always wanted to make it easier to flash all other devices too, and now we’re almost there: If you as an image maintainer make some information available, phablet-flash will soon be able to pick it up.

Updating your image to the new world order is something we are discussing today, 1st August, in #ubuntu-touch on irc.freenode.net. We are having an Ubuntu Touch Porting Clinic today. So bring your device, your questions and we’ll help you get set up for the new image formats.

If you want your images to be supported by phablet-flash, that can be easily arranged too. Follow this process, to document how the flashing of your image works. Check out the latest branch of phablet-flash (not yet landed in trunk) to try out if your image works: lp:~sergiusens/phablet-tools/flash_change.

As always: if you have any questions, talk to us on #ubuntu-touch on irc.freenode.net or on the ubuntu-phone mailing list.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Planet Ubuntu

Michael Hall: Dropping Letters Hackfest

Mmmmmm, Pie....

We only have 2 days left in the Ubuntu Core Apps Hack Days!  I hope everybody who has participated has enjoyed it and found it informative and helpful.  If you haven’t participated yet, it’s not too late!  Come join us in #ubuntu-app-devel on Freenode’s IRC network anytime from 9am to 9pm UTC and ping either myself (mhall119) or Alan Pope (popey) and we’ll help you get setup and show you where you can start contributing to the Core Apps.

Today we get another chance to play while we work, because the focus is going to be on Dropping Letters, a simple, fun, yet surprisingly addictive little app written by Stuart Langridge.  Stuart has since handed off development of the app to others, but not before having it already in perfectly usable state.  Because of it’s simplicity, our list of dogfooding requirements wasn’t very long:

  • Start a new game. DONE!
  • View high scores.

Short as the list may be, it’s only half done!  We still need to integrate a high scores screen, which means we need you Javascript and QML developers!  Dropping Letters also needs to be tested, which means Autopilot, which of course means we have something for you Python hackers too!  So come and join us today in #ubuntu-app-devel and help make this great game even better.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Planet Ubuntu

Seamlessly sync your data across devices

Work isn’t anchored to one device or one location. In a typical day, you can go from working on a multimonitor desktop rig in the office to a laptop at a client site to a desktop at home, working in sips on a tablet or smartphone in between.

This unfettered mobility means its more critical than ever that you’re able to access important files across devices, platforms and apps. Follow these tips for keeping all your data in sync, so you can keep doing business wherever your business takes you.

Bookmarks and browser settings

One of the more frustrating experiences of switching between multiple devices is the interruption to your Web browsing experience. Fortunately, popular browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox offer built-in support for automatically syncing bookmarks, history, open tabs and even passwords.

When you sign in to Chrome, your browser settings are saved to your Google account to be used by the Chrome browser on any other computer or device. To choose what settings get synced, sign in to Chrome—you will be prompted for your verification code if you have 2-factor authentication enabled—and follow the prompts to to either “sync everything” or select individual items.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld