Top Stories for the Week of January 27, 2015

  • Episode 384
  • January 27, 2015
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday January 27, 2015


Adobe is trying to keep up with hackers who are repeatedly exploiting security flaws in their Flash software.

Adobe has released an emergency patch for a flaw in its Flash software that was being widely exploited by thieves.

Adobe has released an emergency patch for a flaw in its Flash software that was being widely exploited by thieves.

The patch stops the flaw being exploited on some versions of Windows, Apple and Linux operating systems.

In addition, it is investigating reports that another previously unknown flaw is being used in a popular cybercrime kit sold online.

The kit is favoured by gangs who use malicious programs that demand a ransom after it encrypts important files.

This particular exploit can be used to scramble files and demand a ransom; seek out banking details or hijack ads on webpages as people browse.

Adobe said it hoped to produce a patch for this other flaw this week as the latest emergency patch did not fix it.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


An encrypted chat service is launching amid a controversial proposal in the European Union.

Kim Dotcom has released an encrypted chat service, called MegaChat, to compete with the Microsoft-owned Skype.

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has released an encrypted chat service, called MegaChat, to compete with the Microsoft-owned Skype.

Announcing the launch of the beta version of his MegaChat service, Mr Dotcom said that video-calling would gradually be followed by a text-chat service and video-conferencing.

The news came as it emerged a top EU official wants companies to be required by law to hand over encryption keys.

The EU counter-terrorism coordinator's proposal follows a similar call by Prime Minister David Cameron.

In a document leaked by the civil liberties group Statewatch, Gilles de Kerchove said encryption "increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible".

Mr Cameron said earlier this month that he wants internet firms to allow the government to view encrypted messages in order to aid the security services.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Despite being blind, an Ontario woman is able to look at her newborn son thanks to technology.

Despite being blind, an Ontario woman is able to look at her newborn son thanks to technology.

Kathy Beitz suffers from a disease that robbed her of most of her eyesight, but thanks to technology called eSight Glasses, she's able to count her son’s digits and see his smiling face.

The glasses are essentially goggles equipped with a camera and LCD screens. Though somewhat bulky, the glasses fit over the wearer’s face, where the screens transmit visual information in real time.

Beitz's sister, Yvonne Felix is also blind. She and Taylor West, a spokesman for the company that makes the eSight glasses, join us to share how the technology works.

***** PAUSE FOR VIDEO CLIP *****

According to the eSight website, the Canadian-made glasses are “the only innovation of its type, anywhere in the world, that allows the legally blind to actually see.”

Though eSight aren’t covered by Ontario's health care program, the company does have fundraising initiatives in place to help those who could benefit from a pair.

For Beitz, the glasses are priceless. She says, holding her son, “When I got to see his smile – it does, it does feel amazing."

Source: www.ctvnews.ca


Ford wants to be seen as a technology innovator with its new centre in Silicon Valley.

Ford wants to show us that they're much more than just trucks and cars. They want to be seen as a technology innovator.

Ford wants to show us that they're much more than just trucks and cars. They want to be seen as a technology innovator.

The Detroit automaker has long had a friendly relationship with technology, what with its Sync infotainment platform, its support for third-party apps and its investment in autonomous vehicles.

But with its new Research and Innovation Center located in Palo Alto, Ford is hoping to accelerate its relationship with technology even further.

The new center isn't Ford's first venture in Silicon Valley, but it is a much bigger effort, with a former Apple engineer at the helm, with significant experience in consumer electronics, semiconductors, aerospace and automotive tech.

Ford hopes to build a team of 125 professionals which would make the company one of the largest dedicated automotive research teams in the Valley.

Some of the projects that are already underway include collaborations with several universities and technology companies such as Google's Nest.

You can, for example, set it so that the smart thermostat automatically switches your house to "Away Mode" when the vehicle leaves the driveway and have it flip to Normal when you're back home. The Nest Protect smoke detector can even send an alert to your in-car dash to let you know if something's wrong at home.

Modular upgrades are also in the works. Instead of having to buy a new car to get the latest technology, you could just go to a dealer and have them swap out a hardware module. The module would contain just the core parts, like the processor, memory and storage, leaving your dash screen and controls untouched.

While the ideas are interesting, Ford is hardly the only automotive company dabbling in tech... rivals like BMW, Mercedes and Toyota have been in the Valley for some time. It's definitely not the only one tackling autonomous vehicles and some of its tech -- like active park assist. Still, that's the idea behind the new facility: to develop technologies that will move forward not just new-fangled ideas like self-driving cars, but the customer experience in general.

Source: www.engadget.com


Twitter is bringing 30 second video clips to the timeline.

Twitter is upgrading its mobile apps to let users capture, edit and post videos.

Twitter is upgrading its mobile apps to let users capture, edit and post videos -- up to 30 seconds in length -- as the social service looks to keep pace with rival Facebook as well as offer an alternative to YouTube for brief clips.

Twitter's director of product management Jinen Kamdar said in a blog post, "We designed our camera to be simple to use so you can capture and share life's most interesting moments as they happen."

The idea is to be able to add short video clips to any Twitter conversation with just a few taps.

According to Twitter, their 30-second video feature will complement Vine's six-second looping clips.

Source: www.torontosun.com


Microsoft is reporting a more than 10% loss in revenue.

Microsoft profits fell more than 10% in the three months to the end of December, from a year earlier.

Microsoft profits fell more than 10% in the three months to the end of December, from a year earlier.

They reported a net income of $5.86bn, down 10.6% on the same quarter in 2013.

The results included a $243m charge for reorganising the firm partly due to the purchase of Nokia's phone business, which Microsoft bought in September 2013.

At $26.5bn, Microsoft sales for the quarter were better than financial analysts had expected.

Microsoft was helped by strong sales of its Xbox games console over the holiday season, having sold 6.6 million consoles during the quarter.

Revenue from the licensing of Windows fell 13% in the last quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year.

Microsoft is hoping the coming release of Windows 10 will boost its software division.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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