Technology News

Technology News
We are here to provide the latest news about different technologies.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Chennai teen hacks university site

Chennai teen hacks university site, bids for cyber course seat

Entrance exams are passe. A student from Tamil Nadu hacked into the admin pages of a cyber forensics centre at University of Madras to showcase his skills to the authorities and convince them to admit him to a course offered by the centre. The authorities said that the student later appeared for an entrance exam conducted by the centre, but had failed to clear it.

The youngster in an email in June to professors said he meant no harm but just wanted to tip them off about the inherent weaknesses in the university website and professed his passion to work in the field of INFOSEC (information security). The university's Centre for Cyber Forensics and Information Security offers an M.Sc degree, one of the most popular and in-demand courses with job offers from top banks and financial institutions pouring in for those completing it. For the 25 seats on offer, the centre received around 350 applications.

In the email, the student, even attached screenshots of the vulnerable admin logins he was able to break into, including the admin pages, library and the WiFi connectivity login. He also said he had found a small vulnerability that bypassed many login pages of the university's website. In the e-mail, the student said he had dreamed for long about studying cyber forensic sciences and that the attempt was merely to display the basic skills he possessed. He requested the authorities for a chance to be enrolled as a student in the course.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Amazon Prime to ramp up its India offerings

Amazon Prime plans to ramp up its India offerings, a year after it debuted the programme at an introductory price of Rs 499.

The subscription-based programme, which saw membership triple from January 2017 to June 2017, plans to include benefits such as event ticketing and cashbacks through the Amazon Pay wallet.

"We want to serve all your needs from shopping, family, video and any other entertainment needs you might have," said Akshay Sahi, head of Prime in India. The number of products under Prime has increased 70% to 2 million since the launch of the programme which guarantees one-day delivery in 100 cities.

ET had previously reported that Amazon Prime was on its way to launching music streaming services. The India platform has been in discussions to launch special previews for Prime members providing them limited tickets for third-party events, said Sahi.

Amazon Prime to ramp up its India offeringsAt present, Prime in India offers four benefits, including fast and free deliveries, a 30-minute preview to lightning deals, Amazon Prime Video (introduced in December 2016) and Amazon Family (introduced in May 2017) which gives parents a year-long 15% discount on diapers. In the US, Amazon's home market, Prime provides close to 20 benefits including music, deliveries from preferred restaurants, membership sharing between family members and a 5% cash back on the use of Prime credit cards.

Sahi added that Pay with Amazon or third-party payments through the wallet is an India-specific benefit which Amazon is looking at.

"Wallet has a frequency game, Prime has a frequency game and we will leverage them together. Associating with external partners creates a lot of impact on customer experience. When it is cashback, it is easy to do," said Sahi while talking about introducing cashbacks and loyalty points for the Prime customer in India.

Prime users are likely to shop twice as much as non-Prime users on the Amazon India platform, according to Sahi, as the Seattle-based online retail giant looks to repeat the success of the programme in its home market here.

In the US, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that the total number of Prime users in July 2016 was 63 million making up more than half of Amazon's customer base. The Prime members spent an average of $1,500 per year, compared to $500 spent by non-Prime users. With the bouquet of services, the price for renewal of Amazon Prime membership is also likely to go up.

"We declared a strike-through price of Rs 999 and cut it. The programme, as we see it, has a much higher value. Over time, the price will increase, I hope so. The price increase is to generate a lot more value from customers. We do think it is undervalued," said Sahi adding that increasing the benefits will also ensure that the value derived from it is higher.

While shopping and associated perks on the marketplace continue to be the biggest draw for customers on Prime subscription, 40% of the base also watches videos through the programme.

"The multiple services provided enhance the customer experience for Amazon, a key differentiator in the ecommerce market where many businesses compete on price only, which is not a sustainable strategy in the long run. Amazon can position it self as the destination for a variety of services, which increase the customer loyalty and its margin," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.

Orders from Prime customers contribute up to 30% of the orders on the Amazon India platform, with 50-60% orders for Amazon Pantry, the FMCG goods service.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cars may soon predict if the driver is about to have a heart attack

Scientists are developing a new system that can predict if a car driver is about to have a heart attack, a feature that would help avoid road accidents due to an unexpected cardiac event.

When a person has a medical emergency behind the wheel, fellow passengers and motorists also face risk of death or serious injury.

"A large number of traffic incidents are caused by medical conditions while driving, specifically cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and myocardial ischemia," said Kayvan Najarian, from University of Michigan in the US.

"The medical event interferes with the driver's ability to safely drive and operate the car, causing the accident," said Najarian.

Researchers, in collaboration with Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota, wanted to move towards technology that can monitor and analyse the physiology of the person driving and predict if they are going to have adverse cardiac events.

"We identified the challenges, potential solutions, hardware options and algorithmic approaches that could be potentially used," Najarian said.

"We concluded that cardiac events were conditions that are more feasible to detect with technology in the vehicle," he added.

Researchers are creating a system that could be placed in the vehicle to monitor and predict an adverse cardiac event.

"We would like to test hardware we had previously identified, and improve and validate our algorithmic solutions to see what it will take to generate a system that could look at the physiology of a person, provided by high-density electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, as well as other medical measurements," Najarian said.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Google is rewarding for finding Android Bug

Google will now reward $2,00,000 for finding an Android bug

Days after a malware called "Judy" hit over 36.5 million Android-based phones, Google has increased the bounty for finding a bug in Android OS to as much as $2,00,000, a media report has said.

According to cyber security firm Check Point, dozens of malicious apps were downloaded between 4.5 million to 18.5 million times from the Play Store. Some of the malware-affected apps have been discovered residing on the online store for several years.

"Judy" is one such case of how an open and free mobile operating system (OS) can be exploited by malicious app developers.

Most security flaws we hear about now affect old builds of the OS or require clever social engineering to get the user to weaken device security, technology website reported on Friday.

The versions of Android being released now are more secure than what Google was putting out years ago and as a result no one has managed to claim Google's largest bug bounties for Android.

Hoping to attract more researchers and engineers to the bug bounty programme, the company has increased the rewards to up to $2,00,000.

Google started the bug bounty programme for Android about two years ago in which the security researchers, who demonstrate an exploit, get a cash prize -- the amount of which varies based on the severity of the hack.

Unbreakable material for Smartphones

This material can make smartphones 'unbreakable'

DON: Scientists have discovered a new 'miracle material' with improved chemical stability, lightness and flexibility, which could be used to make smartphones and other devices that are less likely to break.

Currently, most parts of a smartphone are made of silicon and other compounds, which are expensive and break easily, but with almost 1.5 billion smartphones purchased worldwide last year, manufacturers are on the lookout for something more durable and less costly, researchers said.

Researchers, including those from Queen's University Belfast in the UK, found that by combining semiconducting molecules C60 with layered materials, such as graphene and hBN, they could produce a unique material technology, which could revolutionise the concept of smart devices.
The winning combination works because hBN provides stability, electronic compatibility and isolation charge to graphene while C60 can transform sunlight into electricity.
Any smart device made from this combination would benefit from the mix of unique features, which do not exist in materials naturally.
This process, which is called van der Waals solids, allows compounds to be brought together and assembled in a pre-defined way.
"Our findings show that this new 'miracle material' has similar physical properties to Silicon but it has improved chemical stability, lightness and flexibility, which could potentially be used in smart devices and would be much less likely to break," said Elton Santos from Queen's University.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nasa to broadcast live 360-degree video of rocket launch

Nasa, in coordination with commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK and launch service major United Launch Alliance (ULA), is set to broadcast the world's first live 360-degree stream of a rocket launch on April 18.

The live 360-degree stream of the cargo resupply mission liftoff to the International Space Station may be viewed on the Nasa Television YouTube channel starting 10 minutes prior to lift off, the US space agency said.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft will launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket carrying more than 3,447 kg of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory.

The launch is targeted for April 18 during a 30-minute window that opens at 11:11 am EDT.

To view in 360, you need to use a mouse or move a personal device to look up and down, back and forth, for a 360-degree view around Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Not all browsers support viewing 360 videos. YouTube supports playback of 360-degree videos on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera browsers.

Viewers may use the YouTube app to view the launch on a smartphone.

Those who own virtual reality headsets will be able to look around and experience the view as if they were actually standing on the launch pad, NASA said.

While virtual reality and 360 technology have been increasing in popularity, live 360 technology is a brand new capability that has emerged recently.

Recognising the exciting possibilities opened up by applying this new technology to space flights, Nasa, ULA and Orbital ATK seized this opportunity to virtually place the public at the base of the rocket during launch.

The minimum viewing distance is typically miles away from the launch pad, but the live 360 stream enables viewers to get a pads-eye view.

Self-driving truck passes test in China

A Chinese-made self-driving truck has passed a navigation test, heralding a new era of intelligent, automated heavy vehicles, official media reported today.

FAW Jiefang, the leading truck manufacturer, debuted the self-driving truck at FAW Tech Center in Changchun city, Jilin province.

The truck, which FAW Jiefang plans to commercialize as early as next year, was able to recognize obstacles, slow down, make a detour and speed up, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The intelligent driving vehicle reacted correctly to traffic lights, adaptive cruise control, remote commands and successfully overtook, the report said.

Hu Hanjie, FAW Jiefang General Manager, said the company has built a whole industry chain partnership to develop, manufacture, sell and service self-driving trucks.

The participation of more firms across the sector will accelerate the technology's use on heavy-duty vehicles, Hu said.

Leading Chinese tech firms, including Baidu and Tencent, have invested in self-driving entities.

Baidu, for example, has tested driverless mini cars at the annual World Internet Conference for the last two years.

The technology may prove more practical when it is used on trucks than private cars as truck drivers are more likely to drive tired, the report added.