Month: August 2012
Anyone who uses the internet is familiar with internet spam, and we are all accustom to the regular spam emails that make their way to your inbox hopefully not too often. But how much money could these spammers and spam-advertised merchants make, more importantly how much is it really costing society?
According to a report from Justin Rao of Microsoft and David Reiley of Google these spammers are costing society a total of $20 billion while gaining a mere $200 million in combined revenue per year. The “externality ratio” of external costs to internal benefits for spam is around 100:1. This is very sad to see how much companies are spending trying to prevent spam it still seems to find a way to prevail.
Rao and Reiley say that even if only 1 out every 25,000 people who receive spam advertising were to buy something, it would still be profitable for spammers due to cheap operating costs. The only way to prevent spam is to find a way to raise the cost of spam to the point where the spamming business is no longer profitable, according to the researchers.
“We advocate supplementing current technological anti-spam efforts with lower-level economic interventions at key choke points in the spam supply chain, such as legal intervention in payment processing, or even spam-the-spammers tactics,” the pair wrote. “By raising spam merchants’ operating costs, such countermeasures could cause many campaigns no longer to be profitable at the current marginal price of $20-50 per million emails.”
The WiFi Alliance is working on Tunneled Direct Link Setup (TDLS), which is a standard for creating direct links between devices.
This may make you think of just connecting to a WiFi network but there are a few things that TDLS will do like working in the background of a network to optimize performance, and it can even work over a WiFi Direct connection. What this means, for example, two devices can measure the signal strength on the network, and determine if a direct link would be a better connection or not.
TDLS allows devices to communicate at the fastest standard available (802.11b / g / n) etc. even if it is superior to what is available on the rest of your hardware of whatever the device you are using. Which really just means you will get the fastest connection available on your device. Also you won’t need to upgrade your access point either as this is a client-based protocol.
The certification is available to TVs, tablets, phones, cameras and gaming devices which really pushes the idea that this is to better video streaming on these devices. There are only a few company names right now that have test products with the official approval, these companies include names such as Broadcom, Marvell and Realtek. Below is the press release.
Wi-Fi Alliance® now certifying Tunneled Direct Link Setup
Certified devices form higher-performance links to support video and other demanding applications.
AUSTIN, TX, August 23, 2012 – The Wi-Fi Alliance® today announced that it has launched the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED? TDLS program. TDLS (Tunneled Direct Link Setup) devices are able to automatically create a secure, direct link between them after accessing the Wi-Fi® network, removing the need to transmit data through the access point. In today’s Wi-Fi networks, faced with increased traffic and more demanding applications, TDLS links between devices improve overall network performance, reduce latency caused by heavy AP traffic, and avoid interference, thereby improving the user experience.
The new certification program will provide networks and users with the following benefits:
Increased performance: TDLS links optimize the performance of applications running over Wi-Fi networks by avoiding delays caused by queuing and congestion through an AP.
Ease of use: TDLS links are formed automatically, with no user action required to set them up.
Optimized communication: TDLS-linked devices are able to communicate using the highest-performance technology common to them, even if the network’s AP only supports a lower-bandwidth form of Wi-Fi.
Highest available security: TDLS links are protected by the highest level of security supported by both devices, even if the network’s AP does not support that level of security.
Power saving mechanisms: When battery-operated devices participate in a TDLS link, they can take advantage of advanced mechanisms to save power.
“The new TDLS certification program will improve the user experience with advanced applications such as media streaming, without requiring user intervention,” said Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED TDLS is another example of how Wi-Fi technology keeps pace with the evolving demands of the marketplace.”
The certification is only for client devices, such as tablets, handsets, notebooks, and consumer electronics. TDLS-certified devices can operate over Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n technology, as well as previous versions of Wi-Fi. It is not necessary to upgrade to a new AP in order to benefit from TDLS features. TDLS-certified devices are suitable for use in both enterprise and consumer networks.
Although TDLS forms a direct link between two client devices, TDLS is not the same as, nor does it replace, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct?. TDLS operates in the background of a Wi-Fi network to optimize performance, while Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can quickly connect to one another while on the go, even when a Wi-Fi network is unavailable. Many devices will be certified for both solutions and use them in different situations.
The first products to be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED TDLS, and which form the test suite for the certification program, are:
Broadcom® Dual-Band 11n Half MiniPCI
Marvell® Avastar® 88W8787 Wireless Chipset
Ralink® 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual Band Station
Realtek® 2X2 a/b/g/n miniCard Reference Design.
More information on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED programs, a list of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products, technical specifications, white papers, and more is available at www.wi-fi.org
Pulse news reader is a great news feed application that has been available on Android devices and in Apple’s App Store. It is not available on any BlackBerry device, though I could definitely see it running nicely on a BlackBerry 10 device.
Pulse is by far one of my favorite news feed applications and it is one of the most unique in it’s layout. I figured that there would be a Pulse application available for the PlayBook by now but that sadly is like a lot of other great apps that could be and should be on the PlayBook but aren’t.
If you know how to sideload Android apps onto your PlayBook, either by using your computer or doing it the way I prefer which is by using LocalBar2 on my PlayBook and my Bold. With LocalBar2 you can download the .bar files on your PlayBook and use your BlackBerry or Android device as a proxy server to install the apps directly to your PlayBook with no need for a computer or wires of any kind. Visit Yohanes Nugroho’s LocalBar2 site Here. Also note (I assume that LocalBar2 will work on most OS versions on the PlayBook, as I am currently running Beta OS v184.108.40.2060 and it works just fine).
Here’s the .bar file for Pulse News Reader for BlackBerry PlayBook.
Besides doing that as many already know Pulse recently released a Pulse news reader website. The site is http://pulse.me and it is a great looking site and works beautifully.
I have found that the new Pulse website actually works very well on the BlackBerry PlayBook’s default browser and I have been using it lately, though of course there are little annoyances’. Like when scrolling at times articles you touch will move to saved articles.
So if you are a fan of Pulse and you would like to be able to view Pulse news on your PlayBook these are two simple suggestions.
We’ve seen a lot of various things that 3D printers can do, like recently The World’s First 3D-Printed Gun that was actually fired.
Most 3D printers use melted plastic extruded through a fine tip. Though the Imagine 3D Printer does not use this method, instead it uses special syringes that accept any soft form material. It has a large 9″ by 9″ printing tray, and it can print with any kind of soft material
The Imagine 3D Printer is $1,995.
Below is a video of the Imagine 3D Printer in action.
Websense ThreatSeeker Network intercepted a malware campaign targeting BlackBerry customers, I have read it is targeting BlackBerry business customers (I’m assuming BES customers?) and I have read regular users have been receiving these emails too. So I’m not sure if there is a specific target here.
The fake email states the users has successfully created a Blackberry ID. The messages then goes on to say “To enjoy the full benefits of your BlackBerry ID, please follow the instructions in the attached file.” That entices’ the user to open the attached file which of course has the malware attached.
The malicious email is a copy and paste of a legitimate email from RIM regarding your BlackBerry ID, just with the attachment including the malware though there is no malicious or compromised URL in it. 17/36 AV engines identify the malware in VirusTotal, Here.
According to ThreatScope analysis, which is a part of the Websense CSI service, running the attachment drops other executable files and modifies the system registry to automatically start these malware programs when the system starts.
The above video is a video of a device that Gjoci, a hacker and a blogger before becoming a father, made to monitor his new born daughters breathing. He was already developing this device and what it does is alerts him of any irregular breathing coming from his daughter, or if the breathing stopped entirely.
This is done by using the Nintendo Wiimote, three 1 milliwatt lasers, along with a simple program that prompts the camera as to whether the lights emitted from the lasers are moving, signaling there is breathing. The basic concept is if motion is detected than everything is fine, but if there isn’t any motion detected an alarm will go off alerting both parents immediately.
I know as I am a father now any new development that can help in child safety is welcomed by me, you never can be too safe and this is just a great creative way to make sure your child is getting the best sleep possible and they are completely safe. Watch the above video to see it in action.
Google has been granted a glove-based gesture controlled, see with your hands, patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) The patent uses a hand-mounted sensor that records the environment through a detector then works out what motion occurred. This would allow for gesture controls on non-touchscreen surfaces.
A sensor could be on one finger taking images of a surface while the other user draws a letter. The two images then are compared and the distance and direction traveled between the two would be worked out similar to the way an optical mouse works.
By using multiple sensors on multiple fingers and take multiple readings the system can figure out what letter is being written and can also detect gesture control commands such as pinching.
This is one of many patents Google has filed for control systems this year.