The Sony Pictures hack is getting all of the attention right about now, but it turns out that another prominent organization recently was victim to a security breach as well. Last month, ICANN, the outfit that regulates the internet's domain names and IP addresses, fell prey to a phishing attack that tricked employees into giving out email login info. What'd the ne'er-do-wells get a hold of? Administrative access to all the files in the Centralized Zone Data System. Which, as The Register points out, granted the hackers access to unalterable generic zone files (what're needed to resolve domain names to IP addresses), and gifted them with contact information for, among others, some of the world's registry administrators. Passwords were stored as "salted cryptographic hashes," but ICANN deactivated them as a precaution anyway. The firm's wiki was breached too, but aside from public information, a members-only index page and one user's profile, no other private data was viewed.
Instagram has made good on its promise to start purging inactive, fake and spam accounts this December, and it's doing such a great job that users are calling it "Instagram Rapture" or "Instapurge." Celebrities ended up losing a big chunk of their followers, like Justin Bieber whose Belieber count went down by 3.5 million, according to the list created by software developer Zach Allia. Ariana Grande's numbers are also down by 1.5 million, while Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million fake minions. Someone named chiragchirag78 even went from boasting 4 million fans to have only eight left -- poor user was so devastated, he ended up deleting his account. But it's still Instagram itself that's suffered the worst blow, shedding almost 19 million followers in the process.
Some Lumia owners will be able to take photos more quickly these holidays -- and they might be better, too -- now that Microsoft has begun rolling out its latest software update called Denim. We say "some," because only Lumia 830, Lumia 930, Lumia Icon and Lumia 1520 owners will be able to enjoy the new features for now, and only if they live in one of the select countries getting the update. Denim, which was announced back in September, speeds up the Lumia camera app and brings image quality-boosting features with it. The new Rich Capture mode, for instance, automatically uses HDR, Dynamic Flash and Dynamic Exposure to take pictures, while a new imaging algorithm allows it to snap crisper daylight and lowlight images.
It can be difficult for us commoners to fathom just how much money a billion is. So, if you need to see more than just a figure to fully digest the kind of wealth Notch got from selling Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion (yes, billion with a B), just take a look at his new Beverly Hills mansion. This is the house Minecraft bought, people: a $70 million estate with its own cinema, iPad-controlled fountains, automated glass doors, a panoramic view of LA and, best of all, a candy room, which is exactly what it sounds like. That amount includes all the expensive furniture and 90-inch TVs displayed in the mansion, along with cases of Dom Perignon champagne, because you don't celebrate buying houses like this with Two Buck Chucks.
What was that? You wanted to get some recipes going for news-content automation in addition to push notifications to grab an umbrella for tomorrow? Well, lucky you because Time Inc. announced it's adding IFTTT (If This Then That) support for five of its publications: Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, People, Sports Illustrated, and of course Time. The outfit says it's using in-house tech to make it easier to automate stuff like sending all NFL articles to Pocket so you can read 'em on the subway, for example. Another is getting a weekly movie summary sent straight to your email from Entertainment Weekly. This update benefits both Android and iOS users alike and it's available right this minute. Now its just up to you to see if too many cooks can spoil these recipes.
It wasn't long ago that Flickr lamented the "cost of lost good will" its Wall Art service caused, but the photo-minded outfit thinks it has a solution: removing Creative Commons-licensed photos from Wall Art's available photos. What's more, the outfit is refunding the sales of CC images made through Wall Art as well. As Flickr vice president Bernardo Hernandez notes on the company blog, Wall Art's photo printing service will continue. However, the only works you'll be able to buy will pull from the Flickr Marketplace artists and stuff in your personal collection. And if you're interested in still selling, Hernandez urges you to sign up for Marketplace for consideration.
After denying reports that its ChatOn service was close to being disbanded on a region-by-region basis, Samsung has announced in Korea that it's going away. According to Yonhap News, Samsung's statement said it will close up shop on February 1st. It's not immediately clear whether or not that will hold across all regions, but Samsung went on to state that users would be able to back up their data before the shutdown. The company blamed "changing market conditions" for the change, but seems that despite a claimed 100 million strong user base, people weren't really using the software preloaded on so many smartphones.
Update: We contacted Samsung and were told that on February 1st, ChatOn will shut down in all markets except for the US. In the US, it will shut down at some point in Q1, but a date has not yet been announced.
It turns out that riding in a car going 150 MPH without a driver is pretty fun! Join us as we take a ride in Audi's autonomous concept car. Also, take a look at a DARPA project that allows amputees to control bionic arms with their mind. Check out the gallery below for all this and more in today's daily roundup.
Secret first sprung into life in February 2014 as an app/social space where people could get together and engage in real talk, all while leaving their real names checked at the door. It generated Silicon Valley acquisition rumors. It sparked IRL dinner parties (complete with masks). And, as is often the case for the buzzy startup du jour, it got stale. So, what's a beleaguered company to do? Well, if you're Secret, you completely redesign your iOS and Android apps in hopes people fall in love with it again. Of course, a new coat of paint and some bolt-on features might not be able to change Secret's underlying problem.
At Expand NY in November, DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar talked about the erm, friendlier projects the agency is funding, including a mind-controlled robotic arm tested by Pittsburgh native Jan Sche...
Ever since Netflix mistakenly said that offline viewing would come to Honeycomb tablets, we've waited (and opined) for the moment when it'd happen. Unfortunately, the streaming company is turning a ...