Top Stories for the Week of December 2, 2014

  • Episode 376
  • December 2, 2014
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday December 2, 2014


A bug in practically all versions of Microsoft Windows lets hackers take control of your system, and the patch Microsoft is providing is breaking systems.

Errors in Microsoft Windows that facilitate remote access and privilege escalation continue to surface, and those who patch these issues run the risk of bricking their systems.

Early last month there was a lot of press coverage about a massive flaw and an "emergency" patch for Windows as ESET says it had detected a real-life exploit for a vulnerability that's been part of Windows for nearly two decades.

The patch released by Microsoft, which affects nearly all of the company's major platforms, is rated "critical" and it is recommended that you install the patch immediately.

However, the patch has caused some servers to inexplicably hang, and software to become unresponsive.

So patch or don't patch, you've potentially got a serious problem either way.


Sony is breaking the mold with a smartwatch that lasts for about 60 days on a single charge.

Sony has developed a watch made from e-paper as part of an initiative experiment using the material in fashion products.

Sony has developed a watch made from e-paper as part of an initiative experiment using the material in fashion products.

The Fes Watch has a minimalist, monochrome design but falls short of the features offered by smartwatches.

However, unlike other smartwatches, the battery of the e-paper watch could last far longer with an estimated 60 days of use on a single charge.

The device has been described as "retro and cool" by gadget expert Stuart Miles from Pocket-lint.

He syas, "One of my predictions for next year is that fashion is going to play a huge part in shaping the tech industry.

"Having a phone that's big and square is one thing, but if we're actually wearing things, they have to look good."

The watch face and straps have an e-paper display - comparable to the technology used in e-book readers such as Amazon's Kindle.


Graphene shows promise for bulletproof armour.

Graphene shows promise for bulletproof armour.

The "wonder material" graphene could be used to make bulletproof armour.

In 2010, Manchester University, researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of graphene.

Graphene consists of a sheet of single atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure.

It is thin, strong, flexible and electrically conductive, and has the potential to transform electronics as well as other technologies.

US researchers carried out miniature ballistic tests by firing tiny silica spheres at sheets of graphene.

In Science magazine, they report that atom-thick layers of this material can be stronger than steel when it comes to absorbing impacts.

The mini-ballistic tests showed that graphene's extraordinary strength, elasticity and stiffness allowed it to absorb between eight and 10 times the impacts that steel can withstand.

However, the way in which graphene sheets responded to the microbullet also resulted in a wider impact hole - which could be a potential disadvantage.


PasswordBox has been bought by Intel Security.

No doubt you remember PasswordBox from Episodes 332 and 347... well, they have been bought by Intel Security and the announcement was made yesterday.

Intel has bought Montreal-based startup PasswordBox, an identity management service which helps users securely manage their passwords.

Intel announced the deal Monday, but did not release financial terms.

PasswordBox, which launched its product 18 months ago, has backing from OMERS. Its password app has been downloaded 14 million times worldwide.

The app gives users a convenient way to log into all of their websites and applications from any device without having to type or remember passwords. Using one tap on mobile devices or one click in a browser, they get secure access to their favourite apps and sites.

According to report from Deloitte, 90 per cent of user-generated passwords are vulnerable to hacking, Many of us are suffering "password fatigue," using the same password for multiple sites and frequently forgetting passwords.

So a password solution could be a powerful addition to Intel’s security approach.

"PasswordBox has spent the last two years building a product that people love, trust and use around the world every day," said Daniel Robichaud, CEO and co-founder of PasswordBox. "We share Intel Security's vision of simple, secure access and identity protection across all platforms and devices."

To learn all about PasswordBox from our perspective, check out Category5 Technology TV's Episodes 332 and 347.

Here's a happy little side-note for you: all 48 PasswordBox employees will now become part of Intel Security. Plus, existing PasswordBox users now get a premium subscription for free.


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