Sunday, December 21, 2014
The attack is possibly the costliest for a U.S. company ever, said Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at research firm Gartner. "This attack went to the heart and core of Sony's business -- and succeeded," she said. "We haven't seen any attack like this in the annals of U.S. breach history."
Federal investigators believe there is a connection between the Sony Pictures hack and the isolated communist nation, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to openly discuss an ongoing criminal case. Earlier in the day, the besieged company cancelled the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," citing the threats of violence against movie theaters and decisions by the largest multiplex chains in North America to pull the film from its screens. Seemingly putting to rest any hope of a delayed theatrical release or a video-on-demand release, Sony Pictures later said it has "no further release plans for the film."
The cancellation was a startling blow to the Hollywood studio. The hackers, who call themselves Guardians of Peace, on Tuesday had threatened violence reminiscent of September 11th, 2001 against movie theaters showing the film. Sony cancelled a planned New York premiere and offered theaters the option of bowing out. One after the other, all the top U.S. movie chains announced they would postpone any showings of the comedy, which features a pair of journalists played by James Franco and Seth Rogen that are tasked by the CIA to assassinate North...
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When word spread that the explosively popular new smartphone app Waze was sending many of those cars through their neighborhood in a quest to shave five minutes off a daily rush-hour commute, they were angry and ready to fight back.
They would outsmart the app, some said, by using it to report phony car crashes and traffic jams on their streets that would keep the shortcut-seekers away.
Months later, the cars are still there, and the people are still mad.
"The traffic is unbearable now. You can't even walk your dog," said Paula Hamilton, who lives on a once quiet little street in the Santa Monica Mountains in a neighborhood called Sherman Oaks.
Hamilton's winding little road up the low-slung mountains that separate the city's traffic-clogged San Fernando Valley from its equally traffic-clogged west side is now filled each weekday morning with a parade of exhaust-belching, driveway-blocking, bumper-to-bumper cars.
So is practically every other nearby street that parallels the busy Interstate 405 freeway.
On the other side of the mountain, where cars cruise down roads into tony Brentwood, traffic has also been the hot topic of late, with several people telling each other they will fool the app with their phony accident reports.
"I don't know if you could find anyone who would admit to doing it, but several people have said they will," longtime resident Joann Killeen said.
If they have, they've obviously failed. Killeen said her four-mile commute to UCLA, where she teaches a public relations class, can take two hours during rush hour. "The streets on the west side are no longer a secret for locals, and people are angry," she...
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To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here's a closer look at a few "smart" products for the home. There are plenty more if you look around. As I tried these out, I kept thinking to myself whether these products really needed that connectivity. You'll need to decide whether the benefits are worth the higher prices.
I tested the Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity. A free app that goes with it has a timer that tries to make sure you spend two minutes brushing -- 30 seconds on each quadrant of your teeth. The app then reminds you to brush your tongue, floss and rinse with mouthwash. It sends me notifications when I haven't been doing that consistently (oops!). The app also offers weekly and monthly charts on your brushing activities.
I was skeptical when I started using this toothbrush. It relies a lot on self-reporting. Although the toothbrush will warn when you're putting too much pressure on your teeth, it can't tell whether you're actually brushing your entire mouth. You can spend the entire two minutes on one area, even as the app tells you to move on. And flossing? I was pressed for time getting to my dentist appointment, so I told the app I flossed that morning -- even though I didn't.
But after I switched back to a manual toothbrush, I found myself gradually reducing my brushing time. I also stopped flossing and doing all those other good things. The connected toothbrush won't go beyond what you can do with a timer and...
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"I would not hold up China or Saudi Arabia or Vietnam as examples of political freedom, proving my point, that engagement by itself does not guarantee or even lead to political freedoms."
The post Rubio’s New Foreign Policy: Engagement With The World Doesn’t Lead To Political Freedom appeared first on ThinkProgress.
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BackBeat Fit wireless headphones: Made for exercising to music originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.
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YouTube channel Network A is a lover of all things X Games—snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, you name it. For their video series Every Third Thursday, Signal Snowboards, known for cool and atypical board designs, created the first open source programmable snowboard that can change music depending on the snowboarder's orientation.
The tinkerers wanted to make something a little more complicated than just slapping lights on a snowboard, mainly because they'd already conquered that challenge. With help from Matt Davis, a musician and programmer, the team began building a snowboard equipped with GPS, an accelerometer, rechargeable battery, and Bluetooth for communication with the required smartphone app.
Davis first worked on turning an iPhone into a wireless MIDI controller so they could get the sounds mapped with motion just the way they wanted. After that, they embedded all the tech into their own custom board and took it to the slopes. In the video, you can listen to the change in music as the board travels down the slope, grinding on rails, and performing other tricks.
At the five-minute clip's conclusion, Davis brings up an interesting point: "Where's the point where the art starts affecting your performance on the mountain? Are you trying to maximize your performance on the run or are you trying to make the coolest music possible? Then it kind of just blends together."
All I know is that I want one. [Hackaday]
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