On this Turn-back Tuesday, we bring you flashbacks, warnings, and birdies, oh my!
Blackberry isn't exactly the first name that comes to mind when you're thinking about a new phone, given the company's failure to adapt to the smartphone revolution. After 10 years, Blackberry is finally making a move, introducing a smartphone that runs on Android and has a physical keyboard. That's right: buttons to press!
The name of the new phone is – big applause for the branding team – KEYone (Keyboard One). The device has some interesting features, like a fingerprint sensor on the spacebar, a keyboard supporting touch gestures and many useful shortcuts. However, the keyboard takes up a lot of space, making the screen smaller compared to the other phones on the market.
As for Nokia, after 17 years, the company has released an updated version of its popular 3310, and although it may have nostalgic appeal, it's useless in any country that has shut down their 2G network – like Canada, Australia and the US. Yep. We think it might be time for a phone episode of The Walking Dead.
Cloudflare, a major content delivery network (CDN), announced they have fixed a bug that exposed the private information of millions of users. The thing that makes this particularly worrying is Cloudflare works with 5.5 million websites, some of them major, like Uber.com, Medium.com, FitBit, and OKCupid. The bug has supposedly been out there since September 22, 2016, and some of the sensitive data has been cached by search engines, allowing anyone access.
Our suggestion: Change your passwords using a password manager like Lastpass or 1Password, and use different passwords for each website. These services allow you to create and forget your own password – all you need is the master password.
As if Uber doesn't have enough to deal with (i.e. #deleteuber, allegations of widespread sexism), the company is now being sued for US $500 million by Waymo, Google's self-driving car project, on charges it stole gigabytes of corporate secrets. The best part of this kerfuffle? The details released by Waymo:
- A former Waymo employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloads 9.7 GB of highly confidential design files for various hardware systems using a specialised software to his company-issued laptop.
- He dumps the files to an external hard-drive and wipes the laptop to prevent Waymo from tracking him (duh).
- Levandowski then founds Otto, a company that makes self-driving trucks.
- Nine months after its launch, Otto is acquired for US $680 million.
- Uber appears to be using a lidar circuit design that is suspiciously similar to Waymo's.
It'll be interesting to watch these feuding companies drive each other crazy.
Browser fingerprinting has reached a new high. Researchers from Pennsylvania's Lehigh University and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri have developed new software that tracks users even if they switch browsers. And it has a success rate of 99.24 percent in accurately identifying them.
The software gathers up all the information about the user, from screen resolution to the fonts they have installed. Having all these features, the software is able to construct a unique profile of the person, or its computer. Without the new software, these systems work only if you're using a single browser – switching browsers would give you an invisibility cloak. No more. Thankfully, the system can't track you if you use Tor.
Consumer-type drones have mostly been used to record videos. But the Syrian civil war has been a breeding ground for makeshift weapons. And Daesh has severely upped the ante, using these drones to drop bombs on people, armoured vehicles and even ammunition trucks, with amazing accuracy.
During the Mosul operation, one downed drone provided evidence of what kind of equipment Daesh has: A DJI Matrice 100, a Chinese-made drone, carrying two 40mm grenades fitted with badminton shuttlecocks for a tail. This shows what bad-intentioned people could do anywhere. Since they aren't too expensive, allowing for just about anybody to have one, we need a solid strategy to stop these drones from wreaking havoc. Thankfully, last week we listed 9 ways to stop the pesky things.